Mesut Ozil has struggled to adapt to life under Unai Emery but his long-term future is at Arsenal and his detractors shouldn’t write him off, that’s according to the German’s agent.
Dr. Erkut Sogut, who helped negotiate the German’s huge pay rise in January and has often acted as the player’s mouthpiece when critics round on him, also maintains that his client is 100 per cent committed to the club and perfectly aware of the its expectations having been on the books at the Emirates for over five years.
Rumours that Arsenal are open to selling or loaning Ozil have circulated in the last few weeks as a reaction to his regular absence from Unai Emery’s starting lineups.
In an interview with Goal.com, Sogut stated: “I would prefer not to speak publicly about Mesut’s situation, but given the recent speculation linking him with a move away from Arsenal, I do feel it is important to provide some clarity so we can end this and focus on football.
“Mesut signed a new contract last January because he saw his future at Arsenal and nothing has changed in his mind. He wants to stay for the duration of that contract and maybe even longer.
“Mesut is 100 per cent committed to Arsenal Football Club. He loves the club, shares its values and does not want to be anywhere else.
He added: “He is proud to wear the shirt and honoured to represent Arsenal on and off the pitch. He takes his responsibilities – including being selected as one of the captains this season – very seriously and has a great relationship with his team-mates, the staff and fans.
“In the last year, there has been enormous upheaval for everybody at the club and the first half of this season has not been perfect for Mesut.
“He has suffered from injuries and illness, and is working hard to adapt to the different system employed by head coach Unai Emery. This may take time, but Mesut will give everything he has to help make it work and bring success to Arsenal.”
Ozil has four goals and two assists in 16 appearances this season, taking his tally in total at Arsenal to 41 goals and 73 assists in 212 appearances since signing from Real Madrid for £42.5 million in 2013.
Sogut maintains that he’s determined to prove his doubters wrong once he’s overcome his latest injury problem.
“Mesut has faced criticism and obstacles throughout his career, but he has always responded and behaved in a positive and dignified manner,” he said.
“He does not feel the need to speak personally because he is focusing all of his efforts on getting fully fit, improving his form and consistency, and letting his football do the talking.
“Mesut joined Arsenal in 2013 and has therefore been a part of the club for longer than most of the current playing squad and even many members of staff. Over those five-and-a-half years, he has shown total commitment and professionalism.
“He has not spent long periods injured and maintained a high level of performance, as the statistics show. Despite what some may say, he understands the fabric and expectations of the club better than most.
“Unless you are on the inside and privy to what happens on a daily basis, it is best not to speculate. In every journey there are highs and lows, but it is important to consider the bigger picture rather than simply making knee-jerk judgements without proper context.
“The speculation around Mesut’s future has not come from him or us and is unfortunate because the situation is clear: his future is with Arsenal, end of story.”
That’s quite an emphatic statement of intent (on his behalf). There’s no doubt that a fired up, fit and in-form Ozil is what all Arsenal supporters are after.
Here’s hoping he can put a forgettable 2018 behind him and Unai Emery can get him going again for us very soon.