Ozil is a Top Player but Arsenal Exile is His Own Fault, Says Lauren

Published October 27th, 2020 - 01:21 GMT
A man who played a key role in Arsenal's unbeaten season in 2003-04 has questioned the German midfielder's commitment to the club's cause (Photo: AFP)
A man who played a key role in Arsenal's unbeaten season in 2003-04 has questioned the German midfielder's commitment to the club's cause (Photo: AFP)

Mesut Ozil is a "top player" but his exile from the Arsenal squad is his "own fault", according to Lauren.

Ozil appears to be nearing the end of his career at Emirates Stadium after falling out of favor under Mikel Arteta in the final year of his contract.

The 32-year-old's last appearance for the Gunners came way back in March, and he has been left out of the club's Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the new season.

It has been suggested that Arsenal will allow the ex-Germany international to depart next year in a bid to balance their wage bill, with the midfielder currently earning £350,000 per week in north London.

Ozil pledged to try and turn his situation around after publicly questioning the club's loyalty, while his agent has insisted that there are no legitimate "footballing reasons" for his client's continued omission from Arteta's plans.

However, Lauren feels a man who arrived at the Emirates for £42 million ($55m) from Real Madrid in 2013 should take full responsibility for his current situation, having failed to prove that he deserves to play week in, week out.

"Ozil is a top player, it's sad to see a top player not being involved in a team like Arsenal," the ex-Arsenal defender told Sky Sports.

"All of us who follow Arsenal want to see the best players but this situation has not come from now. I believe it is the same with (Unai) Emery and Arteta.

"Arteta would love to have the best players in the squad. If Ozil is not there it's a consequence of many issues.

"First of all, it's the fault of the player. I believe if you have the quality, if you are a top player, if you are not involved week in, week out I believe that is your own fault.

"Obviously all of the club have to try to do their best in order to make the player happy and be in the squad and be in the team and play every weekend.

"But the fact that with Emery and now with Arteta he hasn't been consistent it is not the manager. I believe it is more the player than the manager or the club."

Asked to expand on that point, Lauren added: "This is what I believe because if you have the quality, if you are a top player and you are 100 per cent committed in the team they will play you, they won't have any other option.

"If you are doing everything that you should do as a top player it is difficult for a manager and a club to say 'look, you are not going to play, you are not going to be involved in the team'.

"Of course it hurts (Ozil). It hurts (me) because I would love to see the best players in my team. I would love to see the best players playing for Arsenal.

"They're the team that I follow, they're the team that I love and I would like to see the best players in that squad but if he is not there it's a consequence of so many issues that came from the past."

By James Westwood


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