Paul Merson claims Mesut Ozil is the worst player in the world when opposition team have the ball

Mesut Ozil looks on during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Southampton
Mesut Ozil is yet to play for Arsenal since the season restarted (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson believes Mesut Ozil is far too deep into his career to adapt his game to fit Mikel Arteta’s style at Arsenal and claims the midfielder is one of the worst players on the planet when the opposition team are in possession of the ball.

The 31-year-old playmaker was an unused substitute for Arsenal’s recent trips to Brighton and Southampton and missed out altogether at Sheffield United on Sunday afternoon as a back injury ruled him out of the side’s FA Cup quarter-final victory.

Ozil’s below-par performances and continued absence from the side have been a source of major frustration among supporters since he signed a three-and-a-half year contract reportedly worth £350,000-a-week in January 2018.

Mesut Ozil is substituted during Arsena's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace
Ozil has failed to make an impact under Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Back in March, Merson claimed Ozil’s lucarative contract was complicating talks over a possible extension for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and he has once again taken aim at the German during a chat with Sky Sports.

‘I think Ozil is a prime example of a player who has to play in a proper team, that is going to be right up there, dominating football matches. He’s got to play in a majorly successful team,’ the former Arsenal and England midfielder said.

‘He can’t play in this Arsenal team, here’s why: he’s not going to change his game now in his 30s, and Arsenal aren’t going to change their game for him.

‘He isn’t tracking back, chasing players, and you need him in a team where you’re getting 70 per cent of the ball each week, and he’ll play. You get players around him, let him play.

‘We all know how Ozil plays, you give him the ball and he’ll find you. If you don’t have the ball, he won’t win it back for you for love nor money.

Mesut Ozil ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash with Brighton
Ozil was an unused substitute at Brighton and Southampton (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s not interested when they don’t have the ball. How can you give someone £350k-a-week when we all knew that was his style of play?

‘If he hasn’t got the ball he’s one of the worst players in the world! I would say that. Name me a worse player in the world when their team doesn’t have the ball.

‘I’ve never seen somebody so disinterested when they don’t have the ball, but he hurts you at the other end!

‘Can Arsenal form a team around him? At the moment, it’s at the stage where you can’t do that. They’re not going to change the team for him. He’ll pick up his £350,000-a-week and everything is rosy for him.’

Paul Merson speaking on Sky Sports
Merson believes Ozil is one of the worst players in the world when his team aren’t in possession (Picture: Sky Sports)

Though Merson hopes the situation gets resolved, he admits Ozil would be ‘mad’ to ditch his enormous wages with Arsenal to be paid less elsewhere.

‘They have to come to a deal with him; maybe he’ll take £200k a week somewhere else. I don’t know how this gets resolved though.

‘Does he want to play football? If he loves football, he has to come to a deal with Arsenal, but it’s easy to say that.

‘Nobody wants to lose £150k a week, no matter how much you earn!

‘Who is mad enough to throw that money away, no matter who you are?’

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