Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says managing creative midfielder, Mesut Ozil was not difficult and he gave advice to Mikel Arteta on how to manage such a player.
The Frenchman who spent two decades at Arsenal added that certain players are “are a bit more sensitive.”
Since the pay cut and Uighur Muslims controversy, Ozil has not featured for Arsenal. He has been frozen out of the team this season after his name was omitted from the team lists.
There is now speculation that he will leave Arsenal as he enters the final six months of his £350,000-a-week contract in January.
Wenger brought Ozil to Arsenal in 2013 for a then-club-record £42 million from Real Madrid. The 32-year-old has butted heads with Arteta since the Spaniard took over at the Emirates in 2019.
Wenger gives Arteta advice on how to use players like Ozil
In a chat with ESPN’s Caught Offside podcast, Wenger quelled the notions that Ozil can be trouble in the boot room.
“He was not difficult to manage. He was a guy who had a special quality as a creative player and needed to have fun. He is an artist and these guys are a bit more sensitive.
“They need support and an environment that pushes them to give their best,” Wenger said.
Since his current deal expires in June 2021, Ozil, a world cup winner with Germany in 2014 will be free to negotiate directly with overseas clubs. ESPN reports that a move to Major League Soccer is among his options.
Wenger also advised Arteta, whom he bought from Everton during his playing days on how to best utilize someone like Ozil.
“You have two ways to see a football team. You get everybody to do the same. The same intensity of work, the same defensive work or you find a compromise. You have a more creative player in the team who can do less defensive work but you build a team around him who can compensate for these deficiencies. That is what you have to think about.”
Also speaking on the situation of Manchester United with Paul Pogba, he also said there is a way on how to deal with internal tensions with a player.
“I believe that you have to explain to a player that no matter what his future plan is, his interest and his job is to perform at the present [club]. It’s the best way to prepare your future, to play well in the present.
“When I saw Pogba coming on on Tuesday night at RB Leipzig, I was sorry he didn’t start the game because straight away he made a huge impact.”
Clock is ticking on Ozil at Arsenal
As Arteta continues to struggle domestically for results, many have been calling for the reintegration of Ozil at Arsenal
As they head into the winter transfers, two options lie ahead of the 32-year-old; is either succeed in selling or loaning him out of the club. This is provided Ozil accepts to leave, having promised to honour his contract.
If Arteta refuses to adds Ozil to the team come January, it means his future is over at Arsenal.
Ozil has been seen posting on social media reiterating his support for the club each time they are set to play.
With such an advise from Wenger to Arteta, is there a likelihood that it would be followed and get the best from Ozil again? Time will tell.