Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who managed the Gunners for 22 years, winning three Premier League titles and a record seven FA Cups, has spoken concerning the career of Mesut Ozil at the club and why Mikel Arteta must find a role for him within the squad.
The Frenchman who signed Ozil for a then club-record fee of £42.4m in an interview with BBC Sport for the launch of his autobiography My Life in Red and White was asked to share his thoughts on the current situation of the £350k-a-week star at Arsenal. He said: “I feel it is a waste for him.
“Firstly because he’s in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most. And it’s a waste for the club as well because he’s a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create that killer pass.
“The way football is going at the moment its quick counter-pressing, quick transitions and everybody plays the same. It’s kicked out players like Ozil. Although let’s not forget who this guy is. A world champion who has played at Real Madrid.
“He’s been the record player of assists, so you have to find a way to get him involved again.”
However, when asked whether the club is in good hands under Mikel Arteta, the 70-year-old who created history when the Gunners went through the 2003-04 league season unbeaten, believes the Spaniard has the potential to be a top manager.
“Yes. He has the ingredients to be a very good manager, a top manager, but many of my former players had these ingredients. We have to give them time, let them do their job in the way they want to do it.
“He’s intelligent, he has big passion and a strong character. And I believe he’s surrounding himself with the right people.”
Since leaving the Emirates Stadium in 2018, the Frenchman has taken up a role at football’s world governing body FIFA, overseeing the global development of the game.
In the interview, Wenger spoke about his absence and said it’s a decision he made for himself and the best thing to do after leaving.
“I have chosen to keep a complete distance. It doesn’t mean emotionally, just physically. It’s important people don’t see you as a shadow. It may look like you’re still trying to influence things and have your way. I felt that the best thing to do is cut it away,” he said.