Arsene Wenger is convinced that Mesut Ozil wants to stay at Arsenal, despite the fact the German playmaker is yet to put pen to paper on a contract extension.
Ozil will be allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium on a free transfer in the summer and can sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club in January if he wishes.
However, the Arsenal boss told reporters last month: “I cannot tell you what is in his mind. I genuinely think he wants to stay. But I am always positive about that.”
That’s at odds with what many Arsenal fans believe.
An increasing number of supporters are certain that both Ozil and Alexis Sanchez will no longer be at the club come the start of the next season – and it’s not difficult to understand why they’re fearing the worst.
What Ozil reportedly wants from Arsenal
The London Evening Standard claim that Ozil, who is reportedly on the radar of Manchester United and Inter Milan, won’t agree to renew his contract unless the Gunners match his wage demands in excess of £250,000-a-week.
Other reports this week have claimed Ozil wants Jack Wilshere’s No. 10 shirt before agreeing to stay.
Not every Arsenal fan will be gutted if he leaves
If he does end up leaving the Emirates, though, there will be Arsenal fans who won’t feel overly disappointed.
In too many big matches since arriving from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, Ozil has flattered to deceive for Arsenal.
Dixon sums up how some Arsenal fans feel about Ozil
And speaking at the launch of the ’89’ documentary, Lee Dixon summed up the feelings of those Arsenal fans when he admitted there are times when he wants to personally drive Ozil to the airport.
“At the moment Arsenal’s levels are a bit off, they aren’t working hard enough,” the former right-back told Standard Sport.
“Ozil’s a perfect example, how talented is he? But there are times when I look at him and think ‘I’d drive him to the airport right now’ because his application to his job for the team is so far below what it should be.
“Unless he steps up it doesn’t matter what the rest are doing, you’re still carrying him.”
It’s a perfectly fair assessment – although loyal fans of the player will no doubt disagree.
Dixon: ‘Talent is multi-faceted’
“Talent is multi-faceted,” Dixon added. “You can kick the ball up 50 times, that’s a talent. So is recognising your position on the pitch. There’s a talent in being able to judge distances, how fast you sprint.
“All of those things go into making a player. One of them is concentration. Do you concentrate for 90 minutes? Do you apply yourself to the game? It only takes a little bit lost from each one of those and the team level drops.
“Somebody, maybe a Tottenham or Chelsea fan, said to me once: ‘How did you play in the same team as Dennis Bergkamp? You’re rubbish! You should wake up in the morning and thank your lucky stars you played in the same team as him.’
“I said: ‘Yeah, absolutely I do. And I’ll tell you something: I’m a better right back than he is.’
“It’s about applying yourself in your position and doing the maximum you do in your job. That’s the Barcelona way, you play in your position and apply yourself and give the best. That’s how you make a team.”
Arsenal fans: will you be gutted if Mesut Ozil leaves the club next summer? Have your say by leaving a comment below.