Mikel Arteta has ‘missed a trick’ with Mesut Ozil and Thomas Partey, says Paul Merson

Arsenal stars Mesut Ozil and Thomas Partey look on
Merson thinks there’s space for Ozil in the team after Partey’s arrival (Picture: Getty)

Paul Merson thinks Mikel Arteta has ‘missed a trick’ exiling Mesut Ozil from his Arsenal squad following the arrival of Thomas Partey.

The former Arsenal and Aston Villa playmaker believes there’s now a ‘stage’ for the German World Cup winner to thrive in the side, with Partey bringing a new dimension to the midfield.

With Partey’s ‘dominating’ qualities, Merson sees room for a more creative player like Ozil, however, he will not be able to play in the Premier League or Europa League before January after being left out of Arteta’s squads.

And Merson suspects that could prove to be a mistake.

‘I think there was a stage for Ozil now Partey’s in the team,’ Merson told Sky Sports.

‘I watched Chelsea play against Burnley, they played a back four, they played N’Golo Kante in front of the back four, and let everyone else get on with it.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on November 1, 2020.
Has Arteta missed a trick? (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘They ripped Burnley to shreds, I haven’t seen too many teams make Burnley look bang average.

‘Because Kante was playing in that holding role, it gave Kai Havertz and Mason Mount the freedom to do what they want, they didn’t have to spend most of their time on the edge of their own box tracking back.

‘With Partey in there now who’s so dominant in there and doesn’t lose the ball, I think there was a place for Ozil now. I think there was.

‘Then if they do drop someone in to pick up Ozil, you’ve got someone like Partey who’s very comfortable on the ball and can hurt you. Then that frees a midfield player up. I think there’s a trick being missed here, but that’s just me.

‘He’s that good I think it would’ve opened up a space for Ozil. But he’s not for one reason, and that’s because he doesn’t run around. Why did Manchester United get beaten on Sunday? Because they don’t run around.’

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