Jack Wilshere says Arsenal and Mikel Arteta did not give Mesut Ozil ‘a fair opportunity’

Jack Wilshere criticises Arsenal and Mikel Arteta over Mesut Ozil exit
The German is in Turkey waiting to rubberstamp his move to Fenerbahce (Picture: Getty)

Jack Wilshere says he is happy Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal exile is almost over and appeared to criticise the club’s handling of his old teammate, saying the German was never given a ‘fair opportunity’.

Ozil touched down in Turkey last Sunday and is completing the final details and paperwork before signing for Fenerbahce, with the 32-year-old having not played a competitive match in 10 months.

Wilshere says he knows exactly how Ozil feels, having been frozen out himself by West Ham before joining Bournemouth on a free transfer this month, and he believes the World Cup winner was not given a fair chance to earn back his place by Mikel Arteta.

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil holds up Fenerbahce scarf
Ozil has already flown to Istanbul to complete his move to Fenerbahce (Picture: AFP)

Asked if he had spoken to Ozil during his exile, Wilshere said: ‘No. I was friends with Mesut during my time at Arsenal and we had a really good relationship on and off the pitch I thought.

‘But no I didn’t speak to him. I’m sure it was as difficult for him [to not be playing] as it was for me.

‘It’s not nice to be in a position where you’re not given that opportunity – a fair opportunity – to try and challenge for a place in the team.

‘Listen, people can have bad games and miss out on the team, but to not be given an opportunity is tough and was tough to take.

‘So I’m happy that he has found happiness and hopefully he can go on to be successful in Turkey.’

On Ozil’s exile and looming departure, Wilshere continued: ‘It’s a difficult one because I’m not at the club anymore and I’m like every other fan looking in.

‘All I remember from him is what a joy it was to play with him. A top, top player. One of the best I played with.

‘It’s a shame the way it went at Arsenal, but I’m sure a lot of the fans will remember him for his early days there when we had a really good team and we should have probably won a little bit more.

‘But we won a couple of FA Cups and it was a pleasure to play with him.’

Arsenal are believed to be forgoing a transfer fee in order to get Ozil – the club’s highest earner on £350,000-a-week – off their books and are already working on a loan deal for Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard as his replacement.

MORE : Mikel Arteta explains why Mesut Ozil’s transfer to Fenerbahce hasn’t been confirmed

MORE : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sends heartfelt farewell message to Mesut Ozil

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