Ray Parlour thinks the last few games spell the end for Mesut Özil’s Arsenal career, with various young players overtaking him.
Özil has made one of Unai Emery’s squads this season on four occasions. He started against Watford and played 71 minutes, he started against Nottingham Forest and played 71 minutes, and he was on the bench against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa.
The playmaker didn’t make a substitute appearance in either of those matches, and he didn’t make the squad in the other seven games Arsenal have played. In total, that makes it two appearances in 11 games.
According to Ray Parlour, the German’s time with Arsenal is up.
“I have been really impressed by the youngsters coming through, from Arsenal’s point of view. Ozil’s not even in the squad now. I think that’s probably the end of his career at Arsenal,” he told TalkSport (via Football.London).
“You have got youngsters that deserve an opportunity probably more than him at the moment. [Bukayo] Saka has come in on the left-hand side, you have got [Gabriel] Martinelli, from Arsenal’s point of view going forward he’s been excellent.
“[Dani] Ceballos played at the weekend. They have got lots of options now.”
It’s hard to disagree with the general point that things seem to be at their breaking point between Özil and Arsenal. If the 30-year-old can’t even make the squad for games in the Europa League, it’s hard to see when they’ll get chances.
The idea that Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are displacing him is a bit odd though. The two forwards are certainly creating lots of chances, but they’d doing so from wide positions, and they aren’t competing for Özil’s spot in the team.
Dani Ceballos is a better comparison, as he often does feature where you’d expect Özil to play. The Spaniard has only joined on loan though, so until that changes he’s only a short-term replacement.
If Özil did leave, it’s pretty clear Arsenal would have to invest to replace him in the long-term, even if that does just mean putting the money into a permanent Ceballos purchase. They just don’t have the creativity in advanced midfield areas otherwise.
Despite how he’s being utilised at the moment, the German still shouldn’t be considered surplus to requirements just yet.