By Danny Wright
Graeme Souness believes that Mesut Ozil fails to turn up for Arsenal when they play against the big teams, and claims that Real Madrid might have noticed this ‘flaw’ when they sold him to Arsenal.
Writing in his column in The Times, the former Liverpool man also added that while the 28-year-old looks world-class against smaller clubs, he looks a ‘world away’ against big teams in the Premier League or Europe.
On Arsenal’s performance against Bayern Munich, Souness said: “Ozil copped most of the criticism. Should we be surprised? Not really.
“The German is Arsenal in a nutshell. Against the Crystal Palaces of this world, he is an absolute worldie player. Against the big boys of the Premier League and Europe, he is an absolute world away.
“Just remember that this is a £42million player we are discussing. Is this what Real Madrid saw when they decided to sell him? Had they spotted the flaw? He was nearly 25 when he moved from the Bernabeu. That is when a player should be in his prime.”
Ozil has come under repeated criticism from Arsenal supporters this season as he struggles to replicate his form from last season where he made 20 assists in all competitions and scored eight goals.
This season, the playmaker has made just eight assists, with only five in the Premier League.
Just one of those assists came against a team that is currently in the top seven in the Premier League.
There is also a similar trend for the former Schalke man in the Champions League. Despite scoring four goals and bagging three assists, none of them were in the two group games against Paris St. Germain or Wedneday’s clash with Bayern.
He scored a hat-trick against minnows Ludogorets at the Emirates before scoring his fourth European goal in the away tie. His assists came in each of the ties with Ludogorets as well as in the 4-1 away win at Basel.
Arsenal take on non-league minnows Sutton United in the FA Cup on Monday, looking to book their place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
The FA Cup is Arsenal’s most realistic shot at silverware this season as they’re currently 10 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League.
In other Arsenal news, Stan Collymore predicts the club’s FA Cup fixture against Sutton.