Martin Keown backs Arsenal to pay off Mesut Ozil this summer to ‘protect the next generation’

Ozil has been sidelined by Arteta
The German is yet to feature since the restart (Picture: Getty Images)

Martin Keown says he can see Mesut Ozil being ‘paid off’ this summer in order to allow the next crop of Arsenal youngsters to flourish.

The German was yet again left out of the matchday squad for Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Tuesday night and is yet to feature for the Gunners since the restart.

While Ozil enjoyed a run of games in the side in the early stages of Mikel Arteta’s tenure, the north London club will reportedly attempt to offload the 31-year-old this summer with his £350,000-a-week wages proving to be a financial burden.

Arteta has consistently reinforced that players who don’t work hard enough or show the right attitude in training will not be picked.

And when asked if he thinks Ozil has a future at Arsenal, Gunners legend Keown told Stadium Astro: ‘No I don’t think he does.

‘And I think really this summer now they may see the player being paid off, because I think now it’s about protecting the next generation. 

‘I think it’s a real shame, because he had a magnificent talent, but if you’re not prepared to work hard out of possession for the team, then you don’t get to play in the new Arsenal at the moment and that’s what Arteta is all about. 

‘Work ethic comes first and then everything else is a bonus you play from there. 

‘Clearly he’s not seeing enough on the training pitch. 

Keown believes Ozil’s lucrative deal made him too comfortable and that sets the wrong kind of precedent for their younger players.

He added: ‘People go into comfort zones whether they like it or not, they can’t often see it. But, you know, that must have played a part. He’s a millionaire every month, after tax. 

‘My attitude to that is every player should get the best contract they can, and if he’s perfuming he deserves that, but when he doesn’t, it’s very expensive for Arsenal football club.

‘It maybe sends the complete wrong message to some of those youngsters, he’s had opportunities he hasn’t taken.’

MORE: Mikel Arteta reveals what Eddie Nkteiah told Arsenal teammates in dressing room after red card

MORE: Matteo Guendouzi refuses to apologise to Mikel Arteta after Arsenal first team training ban

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments