Former Germany and Fulham striker Karl-Heinz Riedle has urged Mesut Ozil to opt for a move back to the Bundesliga over joining Manchester United next summer.
The German was expected to sign a new contract with Arsenal earlier this year but no such agreement has been reached with the club, prompting rumours of an exit following the 2017/18 campaign.
Reports have claimed that Jose Mourinho is confident of convincing Ozil to join Man United for free next year after the pair developed a strong working relationship at Real Madrid.
But Riedle, primarily for football nationalist reasons, wants the 28-year-old to make a return to the Bundesliga instead.
“Ozil going back to Germany? Who knows,” he said. “There’s a rumour that he goes to Manchester United. He shouldn’t do it.”
“Ozil is a quality player. If you see his skills, it’s just amazing what he can do on the pitch. We would be very happy if he comes back to a club in Germany, for sure. But I’m not his agent so I don’t know where he ends up.
“Best option is if he would, from my point, if he would come to the Bundesliga. It’s a really good option because we get another national player back in our league.
“But if he is looking only for the money, then it would be very difficult to find the same kind of money in the German league than he can find in the Premier League.”
Riedle is adopting a regularly used line which states that a greater number of indigenous players benefits the national league and, in turn, the national side. Whether or not this is true is questionable, but you can guarantee that Ozil cares little for this angle whatsoever.
Moving back to Germany would see Ozil depart the Premier League as somebody who, in the eyes of this country’s footballing audience, always offered guile and skill on the ball but never worked hard.
Of course, this observation is wrong. If you watch the German for 90 minutes, you’ll notice he covers more ground than most players. The above description actually applies to Arsenal as a club, and Ozil, their best player, is unfortunately tarred with the same brush as a result.
Moving to Man United, on the other hand, would present Ozil with the perfect chance to ameliorate this misconception.