Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are, without doubts, the reason Arsenal was able to finish fifth in the 2016-17 English Premier League season which just ended with Chelsea as winners.
Image shows Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners lost their fourth place to Liverpool with only a point, and the disappointment sparked controversies about Ozil and Sanchez, who critics believe, betrayed Arsene Wenger’s team for personal reasons.
At the moment, both players are yet to put pen to paper, having been at loggerheads with Arsenal management over contract terms.
Ozil missed five consecutive matches as a first team player following the club’s 5-1 loss to Bayern Munich — a situation which prompted his Germany international teammate Julian Draxler to tell BBC World Service barely a week ago that he “would love to play with him [Ozil] every day.
“For me, he’s a great player,” said Draxler, who rejected a move to the Premier League side.
“I enjoy to play with him for every training, every match with the German national team.
“…He would help every team in the world and I think he would enjoy the life here and even to play for PSG.”
There are speculations that Ozil will make a switch to League 1 in the near future. And Martin Keown, a former England international footballer who played as a defender and made over 450 appearances for Arsenal, thinks the duo [Ozil and Sanchez] are the reason for the club’s last minute dip in form.
Image: Mesut Ozil
“It became about Ozil and Sanchez for too long in the season. I think their behaviour let Arsenal down in that period,” Keown told BT Sport shortly before the Emirates FA Cup Final.
The 50-year-old continued: “…Their behavior let Arsenal down in that period.
“Ozil wasn’t available for large periods. Was he injured, wasn’t he? Was it sickness, was it injury?
“He didn’t seem to be around when they needed him most.
“It’s not fair on some of the other players. I’ve been a bit surprised how the group have been a bit nice with them. That’s what really has to be considered: how is that affecting other players?
“If I was playing in some of the games when Ozil doesn’t get a perfect pass, I would have been in his ear telling him my bit.
“I’d have said, ‘I’m trying to give the ball to you, don’t disrespect me in the way you do when I don’t get the ball to you,” he adds. “I’m surprised he’s got away with some of that with the players.”
Mesut Ozil is demanding up to £300,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal but negotiations are underway for a £270,000 stop-gap deal.
The German signed for Reaal Madrid in 2010 but was tempted with an outrageous £42.5 million to play at the Emirates Stadium. He signed with Arsenal on the deadline of 2013’s summer transfer window.
Keown retired from football in 2012. He’s currently a part-time scout and coach for Arsenal although he also writes for BBC, ESPN, TV3 and Al Jazeera Sports.
Image: Alexis Sanchez
“Sanchez is a difficult man to manage off the pitch,” Keown said of the Chilean who he described as “arrogant.”
“I was at the training ground on one of his days off and he suddenly turned up and was bouncing around the training pitch.
“They were having to facilitate him and put a training session on for him. It’s not necessarily about you as a player — you have to fit in as well with the group.”