Arsenal legend Kevin Campbell insists his former club do not have a problem creating chances despite only scoring eight goals in their first six matches of the Premier League season – and he thinks Mesut Ozil would make no difference to the team if he were still in the picture.
Ozil has been left out of Arsenal’s 25-man Premier League squad and is unlikely to make another competitive appearance for the Gunners ever again.
The 32-year-old playmaker hit out at Arsenal and Arteta, claiming they have shown a lack of loyalty, with the No 10 also snubbed for the 25-man Europa League group stage squad.
His seven-year stint at the Emirates looks set to end in miserable fashion, with Ozil’s contract expiring next June.
With the German resigned to watching matches from home, the north London club have failed to score in both of their last two top-flight games, losing both 1-0 away at Manchester City and at home to Leicester.
Top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who struck 22 times in the league last term, has yet to add to his account since netting in the 3-0 opening day win over Fulham.
Arsenal meanwhile take on top-four rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford this Sunday (4.30pm kick-off) looking for a morale-boosting three points at a venue where they have not won in the league since September 2006.
But ahead of the trip to Manchester, Campbell does not believe Mikel Arteta’s side have a problem creating regular goalscoring opportunities – but rather that key players capable of doing so are currently out of form.
That’s despite Arteta having been keen to sign Lyon creator Houssem Aouar in the summer transfer window, with Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid instead recruited on deadline day.
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Asked by GentingBet about Ozil, former frontman Campbell said: “Arsenal aren’t struggling for creativity at all and I’m not even going to mention that man’s name.
“For me, the key is that there are players there who can create, but they haven’t been playing well.
“Now, there was no rush to call in the omitted name this season, but now that the team isn’t playing so well, his name gets keep keeps getting mentioned.
“So, I don’t buy into it all. I think that when the team playing well, Arsenal will create and score goals.
“When they’re not playing well, every team will struggle and that’s the issue.”
Ozil hasn’t played for Arsenal since March having played in every single Premier League match under Arteta prior to the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
Discussing his compatriot’s situation, Shkodran Mustafi said of his fellow World Cup winner: “I can’t look into his head.
“I can only see what he’s doing in training and I felt he was always trying his best and at the end of the day no-one wants to be left out.
“Of course if you are not in the squad you are going to be disappointed and even him, I think the last thing you want to see is something being left out and not being disappointed.
“This would be the wrong thing. Of course he was disappointed but he’s experienced enough to deal with the situation.
“But for me, it’s about how I see him on the training pitch and I can say nothing negative about him.”
Ozil vowed to continue working hard in his statement earlier this month: “I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again.
“That’s why I kept silent so far. Before the Coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta.
“We’ve been on a positive way and I was say my performances were on a really good level. But then things changed, again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.
“What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club.
“No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this.
“I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”
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