News Live Scores
Mesut Özil

Unhappy Ozil sent stern message by Fenerbahce president Koc as ex-Arsenal star told to focus on football

2:47 AM EST 11/12/21
Mesut Ozil Fenerbahce 2021-22
The 33-year-old midfielder has been told to put his commercial interests to one side as he struggles for regular game time in Turkey

Mesut Ozil has been told to put his commercial interests to one side and focus on his football, with Fenerbahce president Ali Koc having delivered a stern message to the midfielder.

The 33-year-old has been playing in Turkey since January 2021 following his decision to leave Arsenal, but things haven't quite gone to plan for the former Real Madrid star since his exit from Emirates Stadium.

Indeed, Ozil, who has seen his game time limited in Istanbul, has made headlines for expressing his dissatisfaction at his situation at Fenerbahce, although Koc believes he needs to knuckle down and prove his worth to the team.

What's been said?

Koc told Fenerbahce TV when asked about Ozil: "Since the start of this season, Mesut Ozil has been compared to Robin van Persie (in terms of his status at Fenerbahce).

"Ozil wants to play more. From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.

"Our coach also needs to try to figure out how to get the most out of Ozil. There is not a problem, despite what the media says. Mesut is unhappy because he does not play regularly."

Why is Ozil unhappy at Fenerbahce?

Fenerbahce's signing of Ozil, one of Europe's top midfield players in his prime, was greeted with huge fanfare. Having landed Van Persie in the past, the Turkish side pulled off another big-name transfer in the form of the ex-Germany international.

Indeed, Ozil, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract back in January 2021, stated at his unveiling that he has always been a Fenerbahce fan and it was expected he would be the star man as Fener looked to improve on a disappointing seventh-placed finish from 2019-20.

However, things haven't gone according to plan.

Ozil missed a number of games during the second half of the 2020-21 campaign through injury and illness, failing to score in his 11 appearances in all competitions.

The 2021-22 campaign has also been a frustrating one for Ozil, with the former Arsenal man having been in and out of the team.

And tensions boiled over after the 33-year-old appeared to toss his bib in the direction of head coach Vitor Pereira following a match against Kasimpasa on October 3, where Ozil was an unused substitute.

A 2-2 draw with Antwerp in the Europa League on October 21 saw a further expression of Ozil's frustrations, as he was seen kicking over some water bottles before throwing his shirt down in dismay at being substituted.

Ozil did, however, have a positive impact in his most recent appearance for the club as he scored a penalty deep into stoppage time of a 2-2 draw with Kayserispor after being introduced as a second-half substitute.

Further reading