Mesut Ozil should have stayed at Real Madrid, says Ballack

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Michael Ballack admits he would have liked to have seen Mesut Ozil fight it out for a first-team spot at Real Madrid rather than move to Arsenal.

Ozil completed a £42.5m move to Arsenal during last year's summer transfer window, and Ballack believes the Germany playmaker hasn't always displayed the right body language at the Emirates Stadium.

Ballack thinks Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema would have appreciated Ozil at the Bernabeu for at least another season, and believes he must get his head right if he wants to succeed at Arsenal long-term.

"For me in particular, I would have liked to see more time fighting in Madrid [from Ozil]," Ballack told Marca as reported by the Daily Mail.

"It was a shame, because I'm sure Cristiano Ronaldo and Benzema would have loved him to continue, because Ozil is a very generous player."

Ozil had a challenging first season in north London. He flashed his quality on occasion but was worn out by mid-season and was rested by Arsene Wenger after a particularly poor performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

In that game Ozil missed a penalty and it affected his performance noticeably. But Ballack thinks he must be emotionally stronger if he's to fulfil his talent and flourish in the Premier League.

"His transfer from Madrid to Arsenal started fine, but then it has been hard to adapt, because English football is very complicated. Ozil is one of our best players, a larger number '10', but doesn't assume a lot of responsibility.

"He is a free player on the field, which has a great influence on the game, with amazing quality, but sometimes his body language is not what it should be for a player of his class."

He's come in for criticism in Germany as well, with some pundits calling for him to be dropped for Germany's first World Cup game against Portgual.

It's likely that Joachim Low will stick with the Arsenal playmaker for the time being, but he needs to rediscover his form quickly if the Germans are to live up to the hype.

They're rated as one of about four teams with an excellent chance of winning the competition in Brazil, along with the hosts, Argentina and Spain. But injuries have plagued their build-up with Marco Reus the latest to drop out of the squad.

As for Arsenal, Arsene Wenger will be in Brazil for the group stages of the competition at least as he has taken on the role of pundit for a French TV show.

But the Daily Telegraph also reports that the Arsenal boss will use the opportunity to take a closer look at a few of his top transfer targets. A new striker is a priority, and Wenger is reportedly looking at Mario Mandzukic, Mario Balotelli and Karim Benzema.

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