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"He needs to focus on his game": former Arsenal star Mesut Ozil openly criticised by Fenerbahce president

Mesut Ozil
(Image credit: Getty)

Former Arsenal record signing Mesut Ozil has incurred the wrath of Fenerbahce president Ali Koc over his conduct at the Turkish giants.

Ozil left Arsenal earlier this year on a free transfer after having his eye-watering £350,000-a-week contract rescinded in north London. The playmaker was excluded from Mikel Arteta's Premier League squad and chose to move to Fenerbahce in Turkey, the club he supported as a boy.

Now, Fener president Koc has sent a strong message out to the no.10, who has been in and out of the team since his signing.

"Since the start of this season, Mesut Ozil has been compared to Robin van Persie (in terms of his status at Fenerbahce)," Koc said. 

"Ozil wants to play more. From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.

"Our coach also needs to try to figure out how to get the most out of Ozil. There is not a problem, despite what the media says. Mesut is unhappy because he does not play regularly."

Mesut Ozil has struggled with injury and illness during his time in Turkey and hasn't featured often for the Istanbul-based outfit. The German has a number of commercial projects that he works on, along with a number of commitments to charities and foundations. 

Ozil is also involved with the UNITY grooming line, a sustainable product company founded by himself and former Arsenal teammate Mathieu Flamini. 

This is not the first time that the gifted midfielder has made headlines off the field, however. Ozil's work ethic was a constant talking point during his time at Arsenal, with many claiming he wasn't cut out for English football with his lack of effort off the ball.

In 2018, he sparked outrage back in his home country of Germany when he and Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan posed for photos with controversial Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The playmaker later retired from international football, off the back of Germany's poor World Cup in Russia, opening up later about the racism that he had felt from sections of the DFB. 

A year later, Ozil was again the subject of worldwide headlines when he and Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac were attacked by knife-wielding muggers. 

Ozil has played just 18 times in the league for Fenerbahce since joining. 

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