Freddie Ljungberg: Ozil should be in the Arsenal squad
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Freddie Ljungberg: Ozil should be in the Arsenal squad

According to former Arsenal player and interim manager Freddie Ljungberg, Mesut Ozil should be in the Arsenal squad this season.

Ozil was left out of both Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season and it seems unlikely that the German midfielder will play for the club again.

On being asked for his views about Ozil’s situation at Arsenal, Ljungberg said:

“Mesut is a great football player, we know that. We all have different opinions and everybody needs to accept that people have different opinions. For me, maybe the way football has gone now sometimes he’s not as athletic defensively. Let’s say when you play Man City you don’t have the ball and need to just run after them, maybe you need more athletic players.”

“What I tried to do, what I believed in, was that when you play teams who, on paper, you’re a bigger club than or you think they’ll have a low block and you need someone to unlock it, Mesut has the total quality to do that. I think there is a space for a player like that in those kinds of games.”

“But then as well you need to have a communication with the player — not just Mesut, every player. Different games suit certain players and other games suit others.”

“The days of playing every single minute of every game maybe are just not happening that often anymore. When I left in the summer he was in the squads and now he’s not. What’s happened there, I can’t answer.”

“I don’t know if something else has happened, I have no clue. But if you look at pure football qualities, I think my answer is quite obvious.”

“When I was interim coach, I would play him in the games when I thought he could unlock defenses, even if I knew his defensive job was not as good as some other players. So that’s my opinion; there should be a space in certain games.”

During his spell at the club, he managed six games in all competitions, winning once. Ozil started four of the six games under the Swede but it seems like the same will not happen under Arteta.

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