Graeme Souness has warned Mikel Arteta that he could lose “credit” with his players if he chooses to reinvent Mesut Ozil into Arsenal’s first team.
Ozil, 32, has not appeared for the Gunners since March and Arteta has left him from this season ‘s squad for the Premier League and Europa League.
Nevertheless, there have been growing calls to bring the German back to the fold due to Arsenal’s tough form and struggle in front of goal.
Ozil has been one of the best creative players in the Premier League for much of the last decade and Arteta is perhaps debating whether a call for a World Cup winner should come in January.
But Souness speculates that Ozil ‘s return to the dressing room would pose a serious threat to Arteta, who may be better off leaving the player in exile.
Questioning what he would do in Arteta’s situation with Sky Sports co-pundit Jamie Redknapp, Souness, said: “If you bring him back now, Jamie, he’s back to his terms.
“He has a big decision and you can bet he’ll run that with the directors, ‘Look we’re paying him no matter what we pay him, I’m going to park it, while sitting there a team doing nothing its value goes down and you still pay big bucks. ‘
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“So you have reduced assets. They’ve obviously given the green light to do that, trusting their manager. Yeah they look at that situation without a shadow. People will question that decision now.
“Will they bring him back? It will give a person some real control to come back. He is a man who is engaged in his first job in governance.
“This would be a daunting task for an experienced manager. He has been asked to manage that and come out with a face.
“I’m not sure. The player who comes back on his terms is never good. I think it reduces what he has [Arteta’s] credit with some of the players in the dressing room. They could use that against him.
“I think the most important thing is that they get some of the men, if he has any men – and I say it’s men in terms of football who stand up and take charge, without pointing fingers – looking at themselves first.
“I’m looking at that group and I’m not sure there are too many of them.”
Is Mesut Ozil in danger of being brought back for Mikel Arteta? Have your say here.
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