Arsene Wenger has been urged to swap wantaway star Mesut Ozil for Inter Milan ace Joao Mario.
Former goalkeeper-turned Shaka Hislop believes Arsenal should trade in the German playmaker in January to avoid losing him on a free in the summer.
Talks have stalled over extending Ozil’s stay at the Emirates, and Erik Thohir – the Serie A sides chairman – has declared he is definitely on their transfer list.
And Hislop reckons the Gunners should go all out for the ex-Porto man, who is a like-for-like replacement for Ozil, though it’s been reported that Inter will not let him leave the San Siro.
He told ESPN: “At only 24-years-old, this makes sense.
“A like-for-like swap positionally. As good as Mesut Ozil has been, I’m not sure he’s worth the money that he’s been asking for or was even on the table.
“I put this down as a hit, I think it makes sense for player and club. Both players and club.
“I think it makes sense, like-for-like swap.
“I’m not sold on Ozil long-term at Arsenal, certainly not for the money he’s been asking for.
“I just don’t feel Arsenal can continue to carry Ozil as they have done.
“Joao Mario for me a better fit at 24 years old.
“I thought Joao Mario to Arsenal is a hit, as a result, that’s the other side of the exact same point.”
Ozil – a three-time FA Cup winner with Arsenal – has been ruled out of Sunday’s clash against Brighton with a minor knee injury.
Ever since leaving Real Madrid for £42.5million in 2013, critics have been underwhelmed by his performances, however he has registered 43 Premier League assists and has netted on 23 occasions in the top-flight.
While Mario – a member of Portugal’s Euro 2016 winning squad – has established himself as an integral player in the Inter starting XI.