Mikel Arteta left Mesut Ozil out of the squad list for Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League teams.
The decision continues to divide opinion but Ozil is under contract until the end of the season and could still play against for the Gunners.
Ozil can be registered in January and former Arsenal player Paul Merson believes the playmaker of Turkish origin could still have a future at the club.
Merson feels that Ozil needs Thomas Partey in the team in order for Arteta to get the best out of him.
Merson told Sky Sports: “For me, Mesut Ozil comes back in the team if Thomas Partey is fit. Partey gets around the pitch, dominates the midfield and dictates the game. Him playing opens up a chance for Ozil.
“At the moment, Arsenal have nobody in there to provide the forwards. You can make runs all day long, but if you’re a centre-forward, your runs are only as good as the players playing behind you.
“When these Arsenal players are getting the ball in midfield, with time, is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang making the run? Is he confident they are going to see his run and are capable of getting that ball through the eye of a needle? I’d say no, so they need creativity. Fernando Torres made runs when Steven Gerrard got the ball. They didn’t even have to look.”
Merson said that Arsenal need more creativity and with that Ozil has what it takes to add that missing spark.
He did, however, underlined that Ozil needs a play like Partey or Arsenal will be playing with ’10 men’.
“Teams are sitting back against Arsenal, and they don’t have the creativity in midfield to break them down,” he added.
“If Partey doesn’t play, Ozil can’t play. Without Partey, Arsenal are not going to dictate the midfield, and then can’t afford to play with 10 men. But if Arsenal have the midfield, and Ozil is playing behind Aubameyang, with two flying wingers. You ask the back four to stay still, including the full-backs.
“You’d play Granit Xhaka next to Partey, then Ozil in front, then have Aubameyang central, Bukayo Saka on the left, and try and get a tune out of Nicolas Pepe. Get the ball to Ozil, and before you know it, if you make runs, he’ll find you.
“Is Arteta to blame for Ozil’s exclusion? I don’t know if it’s Arteta or the club. I’m not sure. Arteta has been in the game long enough to know when a player is or isn’t a good player.”
Arsenal are currently 14th in the Premier League table after 10 games on 13 points.
Ozil has not played for Arsenal since the return of football after the coronavirus disruptions.