Arsene Wenger hints new Arsenal contract has affected Mesut Ozil’s effort

The legendary French boss was in charge of Arsenal when Ozil renewed his deal (Picture: Getty)

Arsene Wenger has suggested that Mesut Ozil’s recent struggles are down to falling into a ‘comfort zone’ after signing a new long-term contract with Arsenal.

The German has found his first-team opportunities limited in recent months, with new boss Unai Emery only playing him in one of the last seven Premier League matches.

Ozil was notably left on the bench despite Arsenal needing a goal against Manchester City at the start of February, even though he is the highest earner in the club’s history.

Ozil has regularly not even made the bench, let alone the starting XI recently (Picture: Getty)

Wenger was in charge when Ozil signed that contract, which runs until 2021, and he suggested the security of the new deal has affected the German’s effort levels.

‘I feel that the length of the contract has nothing to do normally with the selection of the team. But sometimes there are special cases,’ said Wenger at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

‘Most of the time now we think when we sign a player for five years we have a good player for five years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they practice, they play their best. Because they might be in their comfort zone.

‘He has a contract but the problem is that if you want to buy a player like him you have to spend £100m.

Wenger was speaking after being handed a lifetime achievement award (Picture: Getty)

‘And to maintain the value of the player, beyond the Ozil case, it is more about the way football is structured.

‘To buy players of top, top quality you need £100m. So the decision you have to make is whether you re-sign the player, who costs us nothing, or do we have the money to buy a new player?’


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