Arsenal’s best hopes of securing a top-four Premier League finish rest with Mesut Ozil according to former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood.
Ozil has found himself on the fringes of the Gunners squad this season after falling out of favour with Arsenal boss Unai Emery and a string of injuries.
Ozil has started just one Premier League game since Boxing Day and is barely a year into a mega-money £350,000 per week contract which expires in June 2021.
According to Sherwood, Arsenal cannot afford to leave their star playmaker out of the starting eleven if they harbour genuine ambitions of a top-four finish.
Ozil has previously won the World Cup with Germany and the La Liga with Real Madrid.
“He can’t do anything right in Unai Emery’s mind at the moment. For me, he has to play. I would play him. I’d get the best out of him because of what they have at their disposal,” Sherwood told SkySports.
“I don’t think they’ve got the quality of Mesut Ozil. He needs to play and it’s up to the manager to get the best out of him. You’re paying him £350,000 a week, to do what? To do nothing. It’s a glorified Fitness First. It’s no good.
“They need to get him on the pitch and playing for Arsenal because it’s their only chance of getting towards the top four.”
Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s defeat to BATE Borisov in the Europa League last week and manager Unai Emery has come under pressure from pundits and fans for omitting the 30-year-old from the squad.
The Gunners are back in action this week for their home leg with BATE and will need to overturn a 1-0 deficit if they are to advance to the next round.
Ozil has provided tow assists and scored four goals in 18 appearances for Arsenal this season.