Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes that Mesut Ozil has already mentally left Arsenal amid speculation of a move to Manchester United.
The German’s predicament at the Emirates has been decidedly murky ever since talks over a new deal tabled over the summer broke down.
And various reports have claimed that Jose Mourinho is confident of prizing the 28-year-old away from Arsenal for free over the summer after building a working relationship with him during his time at Real Madrid.
But according to Keown, Ozil’s attention is already firmly on moving to Old Trafford next summer.
“I think he’s testing Wenger more than any other player has,” he said. “I think it was Belarus the other week, he didn’t fancy going. He didn’t want to go.”
“Suddenly he was injured again, he played nine minutes against West Bromwich Albion on the Monday, so how did he get injured there?
“I think in some departments he’s already left. Psychologically, mentally, he’s already left the football club. Maybe Wenger is now trying to do the best deal he can to get some compensation for him.”
While Keown’s assertion that Ozil bunked the trip to Belarus and has tested Arsene Wenger more than any of his players (*cough* Alexis Sanchez) is questionable, one thing is becoming abundantly clear: that the playmaker doesn’t want to be at the Emirates for much longer at all.
And who can blame him? The standard of football at Arsenal has dropped in recent times and, crucially, the mood of their fanbase has soured. Vitriol is spewing all over the place like never before. For the first time in years, nobody – and I mean nobody – believes that they can win the Premier League.
Put simply, Arsenal is not a happy place right now, and the prospect of reuniting with Mourinho serves a favourable alternative for Ozil.