Paul Merson believes that Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal career could be resurrected but only if he is playing with summer signing Thomas Partey.
The German was left out of both the Premier League and Europa League squad at the start of the season with Mikel Arteta citing ‘footballing reasons’.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the former Arsenal man claimed that the playmaker has the perfect skillset for the Gunners, provided he’s starting alongside the Ghanaian.
Merson said: “For me, Mesut Ozil comes back in the team if Thomas Partey is fit. Partey gets around the pitch, dominates the midfield and dictates the game. Him playing opens up a chance for Ozil. At the moment, Arsenal have nobody in there to provide the forwards.”
“You can make runs all day long, but if you’re a centre-forward, your runs are only as good as the players playing behind you.” (via Sky Sports)
Should Arteta reinstate Ozil back into the first-team in January?
There has been questions raised over the 32-year-old’s work-rate in the past with former Gunner Kevin Campbell claiming that the former Germany international doesn’t have the right attitude in training. However, that is contrary to what the likes of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have said about the midfielder and his efforts at London Colney.
Claiming you need X for Y to be able to work doesn’t make any sense. Ozil should be in the team regardless of whether Partey is because it seems he possesses more talent in his left toe than most of the Reds’ midfielders.
Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka are the only two midfielders to have scored and assisted in the Premier League and Europa League this season, highlighting the real lack of goal threat. To add to the woes, the highest average for key pass per league game is a meagre 1.1 from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The inability to find that killer pass in the final third is just one of the reasons Arsenal have struggled to score from open play this campaign.
Whether Partey plays or not, the decision to leave the talented playmaker is one of the stupidest decisions made by the north London outfit. Ozil needs to play come January as they lack the ability to create without the 5’11 ace.