Mesut Ozil defended by pundit over ‘unfair’ contract claims amid talk of Arsenal transfer exit

Match of the Day pundit Micah Richards says the Mesut Ozil situation at Arsenal is not a good look for the ‘club or the player’ and that fans have been ‘unfair’ over his contract.

Ozil has not played a game for the Gunners since March with Mikel Arteta claiming his omission is due to ‘footballing reasons’ while the club’s board are said to be unhappy over his unwillingness to leave last summer.

The German is now in the final year of his contract with just months remaining on his £350,000-per-week deal, but talks are ongoing over a transfer to Fenerbahce this month.

A move would put an end to the Ozil saga at Arsenal, which has been a bad look for both the player and club, according to Match of the Day pundit Richards.

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“So it is 315 days since he was able to do the one thing he absolutely loves,” he wrote in his Mail Online column.

“I understand there won’t be a lot of sympathy for him and people will point to his reported £350,000-a-week contract as a healthy form of compensation for inactivity.

“Ozil, it must also be pointed out, has arguably not handled the situation well at times. He has taken to Twitter quite regularly during Arsenal games over this period, most recently lauding the inclusion of Emile Smith Rowe in the No 10 position, surely a subtle dig at manager Mikel Arteta.

“Frankly, it’s not been a great look for the club or the player.”

Mesut Ozil in training at London Colney in September

Richards also spoke about Ozil’s achievements during his seven-and-a-half years at Arsenal and why it’s time for the Germany international to be ‘free’ amid ‘unfair’ claims over his contract.

“I have always admired Ozil as a player,” he added. “I first crossed paths with him in 2009, when Germany’s Under-21s hammered England in the European Championship final in Sweden. He was sensational, twisting and turning and doing…