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Football expert tells Arsenal why Mesut Ozil’s bumper move is bad for the club

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Football expert Raphael Honigstein has stated that spending heavily on German international Mesut Ozil to have him leave the club is bad business for Arsenal, asking why has he “hampered their ability to grow” in the transfer market?

Ozil is reported to be on his way out of the Emirates Stadium for the Gunners to free up his £350,000-a-week wages, and this week was said to be “closer than ever” to joining Fenerbahce according to the club’s sporting director Emre Belozoglu.

Arsenal might be forced to pay heavily in his move as an agreement has to be reached on the remaining six months left in his contract. Reports claim the Gunners could pay half of his wages until he leaves.

Football expert Raphael Honigstein also told the Transfer Talk podcast the long-running saga with Ozil across three managerial reigns had proven damaging for the club’s hopes of bringing in new players with the development as he wondered if another boss would have got more out of him.

“I think if you spend so much on one player, and then for whatever reason, he’s no longer in the squad that affects your ability to attract other players. So part of those issues go back to Arsenal’s decision to give him that new contract.

“I mean, no one forced and that’s the point he’s always making. No one forced them to give him this huge deal. They felt it was absolutely necessary. One of the last things Arsene Wenger did was make sure that he signed that new deal.

“And that hampered Arsenal’s ability to grow in the transfer market ever since. But of course, some of these issues preceded that; some of the weakness that we saw from Arsenal preceded that, how much was Mesut responsible for that rather than just being part or sort of swept up in it? It’s impossible to answer.

“But that’s just my personal view, I think he might have been well-served by someone with a slightly stronger grip on dressing room dynamics and on forcing players really to try a bit harder and be less comfortable.

“I think, the latter stages of the Wenger era, and I would include Mesut in that, were characterised by everyone becoming a little bit too comfortable. And I think a different manager might have got more out of Mesut just as Jose Mourinho did.”

Ozil played a major part in his country’s World Cup win a year after joining the Gunners in 2014, but six years on, Honigstein said he had become a forgotten man in his home country as a result of his up-and-down career at the Emirates.

“Mesut is somebody who divides opinion,” he said. “He always has done even at the best of times, there were people in Germany who thought that, you know, his playing style wasn’t, you know, wasn’t that attractive, or perhaps suggested that he doesn’t try hard enough.

“He always had his detractors. But of course, there was a spell where he was untouchable within the Germany team. And he was a key figure of Germany’s amazing run towards the World Cup in 2014. I think now that he’s at Arsenal, and not playing, it’s a little bit of a case of out of sight out of mind.

“I don’t think there are many people in Germany sort of worrying or thinking about Mesut at the moment, especially since he also retired from the national team in 2018. So people I think, have kind of forgotten just how good a player he was and how good a player he could still be.”

Meanwhile, Sky Sports News’ Dharmesh Sheth told the podcast a move to Fenerbahce would benefit Arsenal in the long run.

He said: “If a deal is to be over the line, there are going to have to be compromise. Not only from Fenerbahce or Arsenal, but maybe from Ozil himself.

“All of the noises from Fenerbahce and even Mikel Arteta is much more open in talking about Mesut Ozil and the fact he could leave.

“If Arsenal can recoup any money for the next six months – say they get Fenerbahce to pay £100,000 a week, and even that is unrealistic because that’s a lot of money for a Turkish club, but just say, for example, that that was the case, you’re looking at a saving of £1.5m to £2m for Arsenal, and that is better than no saving at all.”

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Arteta hints on why David Luiz isn’t leaving Arsenal anytime soon

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Arsenal boss has been full of praise for Brazilian international, David Luiz which gives an hint that he would not be leaving the club anytime soon.

Owing to his age and his level at the moment, it was expected that the former Chelsea defender would be signing out of the Emirates Stadium in the summer but that wasn’t the case.

The fact that the North London outfit now boast of younger defenders, including Gabriel Magalhaes, Rob Holdings and on loan William Saliba, makes pundits speculate a shorter spell for Luiz, rather, Mikel Arteta has showered praise on him as a role model to the younger ones.

Also, David Luiz has been described as a liability, a blundering Brazilian prone to game-changing errors, Mikel Arteta has some sweet words for him.

“They listen to him because of who he is and what he has done in the game,” Arteta said. “But also because of how he behaves every day, how professional he is and how he goes about the job. He is one of the key role models.”

“Even at this age he is always looking at his games and clips, all the time asking questions. When that happens you can still improve as a player and I think that’s why he is performing the way he is.

“He is a really honest man with himself. He has won everything and it is a joy to work with him.”
There have been no formal discussions over a new contract yet, although Arteta says they are in a “good position” as they talk “all the time about this kind of thing”.

He added that “This season has been really tough in the beginning because he’s been through some injuries but he’s kept at it, he understood his role, he knows his role in the team, he’s one of our leaders and he’s so willing to keep improving”

Asked if he spoke to Luiz about an extension, Arteta replied: ‘No, there are still a few months to go on that. I all the time talk to him about this kind of thing so we’re in a good position.

“He showed his character first of all with the decision he made to join the club when he was with a club where he was winning trophies and he was still comfortable and under contract.

“And he wanted a challenge. And at that age it tells you everything because normally at that age the challenge is not sporting but more a financial decision that you take to go to a different country.”

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Keane reveals one flaw made by Edu

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Arsenal chief Edu might have been hailed for his transfer activities, even by manager Mikel Arteta but he seems to have ‘goofed’ with one of the transfer decisions he made in 2020.

This was exposed by Man United legend Roy Keane who told Sky Sports that the North London outfit chief failed to make a good bargain for goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, hinting that he was sold cheaply.

Arsenal parted ways with Emiliano Martinez in 2020, shortly after he helped the club to win the FA Cup and the Community Shield for Aston Villa with a fee worth £17 million.

During his last days at the Emirates Stadium, Emiliano Martinez was favoured with playing time due to the injury of Bernd Leno and he was able to prove that he is a world-class goalkeeper.

Arsenal actually wanted to keep him but he was keen on a move to secure regular football as Mikel Arteta was clear about Bernd Leno as his first-choice.

Since that move, Emiliano Martinez has been apt for Aston Villa, ten clean sheets this season for the European-chasing side too – only Man City have more.

Manchester United legend Keane lauded the impact Martinez has had in the Midlands and the ‘huge difference’ he has made.

“Recruitment was right for Aston Villa,” said Keane. “I know they got promoted and there was a lot of players [brought in]. 12 or 13 out of contracts. Lots of changes.

“So, last season was expected that it was going to be hard work. But this season, I bet they cannot believe how well they are doing. They had a great start to the season when they won their first four games.

“Dean Smith used the word ‘platform’ and probably belief. And again, we talk about the signings.

“The goalkeeper has been such a huge bonus. To be able to get him at £17 or 20 million has been cheap really. And he has made a huge difference really. They are good to watch.”

While Bernd Leno has also been outstanding at the North London outfit, the wish by Mikel Arteta is to keep both goalkeepers at the club but that Emiliano Martinez was not ready to stay.

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Why William Saliba may not wish to return to Arsenal again

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There is no doubt that William Saliba was not happy about his snub at the Emirates Stadium and that is enough to force him away from the club despite being touted to have a future at the Emirates Stadium.

The 19-year-old did not get a single appearance for the Gunners first team in the first half of the season, the reason why he was released back to Ligue 1 on loan to join Nice.

He arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2019 from Saint-Etienne in a deal estimated to be worth around £27 million ($37m), spending the 2019-20 season on loan at the French club under the terms of the transfer.

The Nice loanee has, therefore, spoken out on his frustration at not being given the opportunity to show his worth on a regular basis in the Arsenal first team.

The defender failed to make a single appearance for Arsenal, and at the start of January, he returned to Ligue 1 on another short-term move.

The story has changed for William Saliba as he has since become a fixture in the Nice first team and believes he had something to offer Arteta as part of his defensive plans.

“I really, really, really didn’t think that I would be transferred for almost €30m,” the youngster explained to TF1.

“To think that I would arrive, where people were expecting a lot from me, the fans were excited about me and you find yourself in the reserves, playing zero – nothing in the Europa League or the Premier League.

“I was in the squad once in the EFL Cup. It hurt me, it affected me. I don’t think I left too early. When you feel ready you have to go. These things happen. I believe in myself.”

Despite being happy with his new life and first team football, Saliba will not want to dwell much on what the future holds but there is no doubt he was not happy at the Emirates Stadium and that could be a factor to consider.

“I have learned now that it is better not to look too far in the future,” he added. “I am focused on just these six months to try to give absolutely everything and for the rest we will see.

“For me, the best decision was to join Nice because there is a good project, a good team, a good level of ambition and they like to play in a certain way.

“It feels good to play and to have consistent game time. I am young, I am 19, and it is by playing matches like this that you improve.

“You see what mistakes you make and you correct them for the next match”

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