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Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil-shaped problem is becoming a very expensive burden

The German was left out of the squad completely for the West Ham game

The Germans probably have the perfect word to describe when your most expensive player isn’t even making the squad because of mystery injuries and tactical decisions.

Committing Mesut Ozil to a new contract was supposed to be Arsene Wenger’s parting gift to the club.

But instead the £350,000-a-week deal he signed last January has become a burden that Unai Emery has had to bear.

Or for several games this season, not bear at all by the leaving the German out of the Arsenal squad altogether.

For the games against West Ham, Bournemouth and Spurs this season Emery actually bothered to make up some reasons for Ozil’s absences, but despite training all week for return match against the Hammers, it’s been confirmed Arsenal’s star player has been left out for tactical reasons.

Just days after announcing that the club didn’t have the money to make any transfers this January and were looking for loan moves instead, it is apparent that Arsenal’s Ozil-shaped problem could become very expensive very quickly.

The Gunners are paying Ozil ridiculous money to have a role as a bit-part player that can only feature against lower league teams at home.

This situation would not be sustainable at any other top club and it is damaging Arsenal as we speak.

In Emery’s mind Ozil clearly falls into the ‘luxury player’ category no matter how many ‘distance covered’ graphs you show him.

The Spaniard evidently feels that Ozil is not a player that can operate in his high-intensity, high press system that requires discipline and graft and leaves no room for passengers.

But leaving Ozil out of that team is a huge problem for the club and not just where the German is concerned.

Aaron Ramsey was essentially allowed to leave on a free to Juventus because Arsenal couldn’t afford to pay him a likely £200,000 per week.

That is partly because Ozil is draining a huge chunk of the wage bill and despite Ramsey getting far more minutes this season, as well as registering five more assists than his more glamorous teammate in the league, he’s on his way out.

Emery has found a potent attacking system combining Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front to sit as the joint-third top scorers in the league with Spurs.

However, with two strikers on the pitch every other position has to be occupied with players that are going to run themselves into the ground to make sure Arsenal aren’t caught at the back and unfortunately that is just not Ozil.

*Covers mouth* “You’re dropped for next week”

David Klein
*Covers mouth* “You’re dropped for next week”

The problems don’t end there.

Even if Emery did want to get rid of Ozil at the end of the season, who would take him?

He’s a player Emery himself has said lacks the physicality and intensity to play against certain opposition and the £350,000-a-week he is being paid is prohibitive to all but a handful of major clubs.

At 30 years old it would be very unlikely for a top club to spend big on him and his contract runs until 2021.

As I said, if this situation isn’t resolved very soon Ozil could become a very expensive problem for Arsenal for the next couple of years.