Former Arsenal star Lukas Podolski backs Mesut Ozil: ‘He’s not an a*****e’

Crystal Palace v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Mesut Ozil’s dispute with Arsenal continues (Picture: Getty Images)

Lukas Podolski has defended his former Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil, saying ‘he’s not an a**hole’ as the stalemate between player and club continues.

Ozil is earning a mammoth £350,000-a-week at Arsenal and remains under contract until the summer of 2021 at the club.

However, he has fallen completely out of favour under Mikel Arteta, not making a single appearances for the Gunners since the return of football after the coronavirus hiatus.

Arsenal want rid of the German, but he has no intention of being forced out of the club before the end of his contract, wanting to return to first team action and play a part next season.

Podolski, who played for Arsenal from 2012-15, believes the situation is unfortunate but Ozil is certainly not a bad apple and says any disagreement is unlikely to be his fault.

‘He’s good enough with support from the coach and the team, but something has happened with the club, you can feel that,’ Podolski told The Athletic.

‘Is he in a disagreement with the club? When I talk to him, we don’t want to talk about that kind of stuff. It’s his situation, him and his agent have to deal with that.

‘He’s a good character — he’s not an a**hole. He doesn’t do interviews where he speaks badly of his team-mates or of Arsenal and it’s a shame we have this situation because everyone is losing. Ozil is sat in the stands, Arsenal are paying him and there is no winner.’

Podolski is hopeful the situation can be remedied and that Arsenal can make further improvements under Mikel Arteta, after an encouraging start to his tenure.

The 35-year-old thinks they need a lot of new players, though, with only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang currently seen as ‘special’ by the German.

Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski scored 31 goals for Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I hope better times are coming with Mikel Arteta,’ said Podolski. ‘I played with him and when he took over I could see improvements. The team talked together, they ran together, but still they only had one special player – Aubameyang.

‘It’s not like the rest are sh*t, but they’re not world-class. Look at Liverpool, they have top or world-class players in every position, but maybe that’s not the target for Arsenal right now.’

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