Arsene Wenger has suggested that Mesut Ozil’s recent struggles are down to falling into a ‘comfort zone’ after signing a new long-term contract with Arsenal.
The German has found his first-team opportunities limited in recent months, with new boss Unai Emery only playing him in one of the last seven Premier League matches.
Ozil was notably left on the bench despite Arsenal needing a goal against Manchester City at the start of February, even though he is the highest earner in the club’s history.
Wenger was in charge when Ozil signed that contract, which runs until 2021, and he suggested the security of the new deal has affected the German’s effort levels.
‘I feel that the length of the contract has nothing to do normally with the selection of the team.
But sometimes there are special cases,’ said Wenger at the Laureus World Sports Awards.
‘Most of the time now we think when we sign a player for five years we have a good player for five years.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they practice, they play their best. Because they might be in their comfort zone.
‘He has a contract but the problem is that if you want to buy a player like him you have to spend £100m.