Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith, has warned Arsenal star player Mesut Ozil that he will live to ‘regret wasted years’ after the 31 year old midfielder announced last week he will see out the last one year of his lucrative £350,000 per week salary at Arsenal despite not having regular game time.
Last week in a wide ranging interview, Ozil revealed that he will run down a lucrative deal with the Gunners and become a free agent during the summer of 2021 instead of seeking a new challenge outside north London.
But Smith has urged Ozil to reconsider his stance.
Alan speaking to Sky Sports said: “As for Mesut Ozil, the tiresome saga rolls on. In an interview this week, the German insisted he is staying at Arsenal, even though he obviously does not feature in [Mikel] Arteta’s plans.
“This is a funny one. Ozil is well within his rights to see out a four-year contract the club were happy enough to give, but from a purely football aspect, why would you do that if you are not going to play?
“‘This is my profession’, he says. ‘It’s what I love doing: being on the pitch, playing matches, showing the people, helping the club and my team’. Ok, so if you love playing so much, why not go somewhere you’re actually wanted?
“There’s an old saying in football – you are a long time retired. Come the end of his career, he might live to regret these wasted years.”
Smith also had his say on Willian’s impending move from Chelsea to Arsenal as a free agent.
“Willian’s free transfer from Chelsea looks like the first step, which surprised me at first given the Brazilian’s age. Just turned 32 with lots of miles on the clock, Stamford Bridge has surely seen his best days.
“So was this just a convenient move because he has the right agent? Something foisted upon Arteta by Raul Sanllehi, the head of football? Or does Arteta see something in Willian that can improve the team straight away?
“One thing is for sure, as a right-sided attacker, his arrival asks immediate questions of Nicolas Pepe, signed at exorbitant cost this time last year.
“The Ivory Coast winger has blown hot and cold so far, which is not a great quality in Arteta’s book. Undoubtedly talented, Pepe has got to kick on if he’s going to survive because, in the short term at least, Willian can provide great know-how and quality on that right side.
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