Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2019-20Getty Images

'Ozil is world class, but he has no future at Arsenal' - Enigmatic midfielder slows Gunners down, says Arshavin

Mesut Ozil is still a "world-class player" but he has no future at Arsenal, according to Andrey Arshavin, who thinks the midfielder "slows down the game" too often.

The Gunners tied down Ozil to a five-year deal after agreeing a €50 million (£44m/$55m) transfer with Real Madrid back in 2013, in a move which was seen as a masterstroke from head coach Arsene Wenger at the time.

He has since racked up 254 appearances for the club across all competitions, scoring 44 goals, while picking up three FA Cup winners' medals.

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However, the 31-year-old has never quite been able to live up to expectations at Emirates Stadium amid concerns over his fitness and perceived lack of effort on the pitch.

Ozil fell way down the squad pecking order after Unai Emery was drafted in to replace Wenger in the managerial hotseat at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, leading to constant speculation over his future in north London.

The former Germany international's position has improved since Mikel Arteta's appointment in December, but Arsenal have yet to offer him a contract extension, despite the fact his current deal is due to expire next summer.

Arshavin would like to see someone else come in and fill the role currently occupied by Ozil in the Gunners starting line up, with it his belief that the enigmatic playmaker has a negative effect on the team's attacking output.

"As a player, of course, I respect him. Mesut is a world-class player," the former Arsenal attacker told 888 Sport.

"But for me personally he slows down the game. I would prefer to use another player. Mikel, as we can see, is the opposite and plays him a lot.

"He has improved his game at Arsenal but still, in the future, I do not see him there."

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Arteta's men have slipped to ninth in the Premier League standings after 28 fixtures of the current season, and look destined to miss out on Champions League football for a fourth successive year.

Performances have improved since the ex-Manchester City assistant's arrival at the Emirates, but Arshavin believes his old club are still lacking in depth at the back.

"For me, Arsenal’s squad is not balanced," said the Russian. "Offensively-wise they are very good and in attack, they play very pretty football.

"It’s good to watch. But defensively – even in my period – Arsenal is weak.

"Sometimes that is down to injuries and sometimes they don’t have enough experience but I don’t know why this doesn’t change."

Arshavin did, however, reserve praise for Arteta, insisting the Spaniard was a good choice for the top job at Arsenal due to his previous experience working under Wenger as a player.

"Regarding Arteta, it was a good choice because he has spent time at Arsenal and knows the club well. He worked next to Arsene and can take good experience from him," Arshavin added.

"He also has the respect of the club and players. And since he has taken over at Arsenal they have changed: not too much but in a good way.

"But it is difficult to predict if Arsenal can finish in the Champions League zone, especially in the time we’re in now."