Mesut Ozil remains one of the Premier League’s best players and MUST be found a role in the Arsenal team, believes Glen Johnson.
The German playmaker is yet to play in the Premier League this season following a disrupted start to the campaign.
Ozil missed the Gunners’ opener against Newcastle over concerns for his security, was ruled out of games against Burnley and Liverpool with illness and was then included in the matchday squad for the north London derby against Tottenham, but was left on the bench by Unai Emery.
The 30-year-old doesn’t appear to be in the manager’s good books, having been in and out of the Arsenal team throughout the Spaniard’s first campaign in charge at the Emirates.
But Johnson believes Ozil is a ‘genius’ player and has urged Emery to resolve his issues with the midfielder and find a place for him in the starting XI.
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“He’s one of the best players in the Premier League, I really believe that,” the former Liverpool and England defender told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“He’s a genius.
“He’s clearly got issues with something within the club, whether it’s the manager or even something else behind the scenes, I don’t know.
“But, for me, they’ve got to do what they can to resolve the issue and try and get him in the team.”
Johnson was reacting to talkSPORT’s exclusive interview with former Gunners skipper Per Mertesacker, who challenged old friend Ozil to ‘step up and deliver’ for the club this season.
“We need players who step up on the field and show what they’ve capable of, and Mesut needs to, there’s no doubt about that,” the German told talkSPORT’s James Savundra.
“He needs to play at this best. He has this magic touch no one also has in the squad and we really need that.
“I want him to be as fit as possible and the manager to get the best out of him by putting him in the number ten position, because that’s him playing him at his best.
“But the manager has requirements for that to happen. So I wish that Mesut puts a shift in, gets fit as quickly as possible and blows everyone away again.”