Over the last few seasons, we’ve all been debating the Özil conundrum.
We all know he’s the highest paid player at the club, on a whopping £350,000 a week since signing the new deal in January 2018. This new deal ends in the summer of 2021, meaning that he is free to leave in a years time for nothing.
The massive pay rise was offered to him at a time when Arsenal’s historic mishandling of contracts once again came to a head, with both of our star players; Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez, were at a crossroads.
We either had to sell them before their current deals ran out (otherwise they could leave on a free) or offer them big big pay rises. At the time, and I still stand by this today, I said that we should have offered Alexis Sanchez mega money and kept him, and sold Özil while he still had some resale value. In the end, Arsene went the other way and look where we are now.
Alexis Sanchez recently said that after one training session with Manchester United, he came home and asked his agent whether he could rip up his contract and return to Arsenal. Whatever you want to say about Alexis Sanchez, he was for me the best player we’ve had at the club in the last 10 years. He was that good. And along with his phenomenal ability, he always gave 110% every single time he wore an Arsenal shirt.
Özil on the other hand was the exact opposite. He was a maverick, a luxury player who did well one week and disappeared the next. And ever since his new deal and pay rise to £350,000 a week, he has done nothing for the club.
Arsene Wenger projected that buying a player of Özil’s quality would have cost the club a lot more, justifying the increased wages. But I think it’s pretty obvious that the new deal has been a complete disaster.
But yesterday gave a glimmer of hope. Özil featured in the 3-2 friendly defeat to Aston Villa, and a lot of Arsenal fans went mental at the fact that Özil actually played a match for the club. But what does his future hold?
Should Özil be a first team player, contributing as much as we know he can? Should he be a squad player who can help the team in a few games, but primarily from the bench? Or should he be sold ASAP so we can free up funds for new signings?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section and cast your vote below!