Rio Ferdinand is baffled by Mikel Arteta’s decision to not clarify the reasons for leaving Mesut Ozil out of his Arsenal squad this season.
The World Cup winner has entered the final six months of his lucrative deal with the Gunners – which is said to be worth some £350,000-a-week – and can now talk to overseas teams.
While the 32-year-old has not been selected in 10 months and become a marginalised figure, he has won multiple FA Cups at the Emirates and been a key player in runs to the League Cup and Europa League Final in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
GOSSIP: Brighton star wants Arsenal move; Gunners eye familiar target
Ozil was not included in Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads for this term and Ferdinand is frustrated that the real reasons for his omission have never been made clear.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “If I was Mikel Arteta I would have gone in and assessed the situation. Why hasn’t he played previously? Speak to Mesut.
“And then it’s all about how he applies himself on the training pitch. I’d ask him how it was in the last regime but then I’d give him a clean slate and say, ‘Right, you go out there and do the work for me. Work on the training pitch and then I see it playing out in the 90 minutes at the Emirates and all the grounds, then we’ll have a great time together’, that’s the way I’d have approached it.
“The problem is with this whole situation, whether you’re an Arsenal fan or someone looking in as a football fan, we haven’t really been given any insights about how the situation has got to where it has got to.
“Mesut Ozil is a World Cup winner, a player who played at Madrid and was fantastic there, done some great things at Arsenal. But he’s spending more time sitting on Twitter and Instagram talking about his team and the young players and sending out funny messages than he is kicking a ball and it doesn’t make sense to me.
“And I want to know the reasons why, like everybody else. Why is he not playing? The kid’s talent is unbelievable. Cristiano Ronaldo was devastated when he left Real Madrid because he was the man who was putting chances on a plate more than anyone for him.
“If I was a manager, it’s about clarity and consistency with messaging. Don’t leave any grey areas for people like us to keep debating about it and asking questions.
“Come out in your first press conference or whenever that time is and say, ‘Listen, he ain’t for me. This kid ain’t for me! He was a great player in the past but he ain’t the same player who I saw years ago and he ain’t good enough to wear this shirt’.
“So he can either sit in the background and be quiet and train on his own or get his agent to find him a new club. That clarity I think dispels and takes away so much of the grey areas and the debates and the conversations that go around. Because what it all does is it destabilises the club in the end.”