Mikel Arteta Wants Arsenal to avoid a repeat of Mesut Ozil’s Saga

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The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has urged the club to avoid the repetition of Mesut Ozil’s Saga at the club, noting that open communication between a player and the club’s board would help to prevent such a saga.

When Mesut Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid on September 2, 2013, for a then club’s transfer record of €47 million, he was celebrated as one of the best deals in the history of the club.

He went on to establish himself as the club’s midfield maestro, making 254 appearances, scoring 44 goals, and providing 77 assists. Unfortunately for Mesut Ozil who has been earning £350,000-per-week at Arsenal, things began to fall apart for him at the club in 2019 under coach Unai Emery.

Hence, when Mikel Arteta replaced Emery in late 2019, it was assumed that Ozil’s ordeal at the club would be a thing of the past under the new coach. Fortunately for the midfielder, the manager gave him a couple of games before the coronavirus pandemic halted football in mid-March.

Coach Mikel Arteta and Mesut Ozil during an Arsenal match.
Coach Mikel Arteta and Mesut Ozil during an Arsenal match.

After the three-month coronavirus-induced break, Mesut Ozil did not kick a ball in a competitive match for Arsenal. He was not even registered for Arsenal’s 2020-2021 Premier League and Europa League campaign.

Though there is no clear reason why Ozil was sidelined at the club, it is widely believed that the terms of the last contract he signed with the club made it expensive for the 32-year-old midfielder to keep playing competitive football.

For instance, reports claimed that there is a clause in Ozil’s contract which subject Arsenal to pay a huge sum of money to the midfielder whenever he makes any match appearance besides the whopping £350,000-per-week wage he earns at the club.

Hence, to avoid spending so much on the former Germany international, the club decided to sideline him especially during the period the coronavirus pandemic affected the revenue of clubs across Europe.

Now, Arsenal have agreed to pay off most parts of the over 5-month left on Ozil’s contract while he is on the verge of joining Turkish side Fenerbahce this January.

When asked about the lesson learned from Mesut Ozil’s saga, the Spanish coach said the situation is happening in most clubs which is not good for both the player and the club involved.

“You don’t want to get into this position again, that’s for sure,” he said.

“Not for the player, not for the club – but it’s happening more and more at every club and this situation you can see in other clubs things happening like that.

“I think you have to have that communication open, obviously to prevent it as much as possible and if they happen, just make a decision and don’t try to delay a situation that is not working for much longer.”

The coach agreed that a stable club’s board would ensure that clubs don’t enter into a deal with a player that ends like that of Ozil. Hence, he said he is expecting such a stable board at Arsenal.

“Well this is what we are looking for”, he added. “Obviously a lot of things happened institutionally at the club and with some of the big decision-makers as well.

“We are trying to create a really strong team with different qualities that hopefully is going to give us more sustainability and success in our decisions.”

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