Merson: Ozil must wonder if Arsenal are trying to push him into retirement

Mesut Ozil

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has joked that Mesut Ozil must be considering retirement due to his lack of playing time at the Emirates.

The Germany international has featured just 14 times in the Premier League this season and only once since their Boxing Day draw with Brighton.

Ozil didn’t travel to Belarus with Unai Emery’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League last 32 first leg defeat to BATE Borisov and Merson believes the time has come for the Spanish manager to bring his No.10 in from the cold.

"You play your best players and work around them," he said on Sky Sports News. 

"Ozil is Arsenal's best player and he doesn't play, it beats me.

"He must sit at home and watch Arsenal and think 'how am I not getting into this team?'

"I don't know if they are trying to push him into retirement, because he must sit there and think he might as well retire if he can't get into Arsenal team.”

He continued: "Ozil is not so influential that you have to build a team around him, but he has to play because he is their best player.

"He's not going to run around and put sliding tackles in, that is never going to happen, but he makes things happen.

"Arsenal have to stick with him; they are not good enough not to have him in the team."