Ikpeba: Ozil not the solution to Arsenal's struggles

Ikpeba: Ozil not the solution to Arsenal's struggles
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (left)

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Dec 02, 2020. 11:00

Legendary Nigerian forward and 1997 CAF African Footballer of the Year Victor Ikpeba says Mesut Ozil is not the solution to Arsenal’s current struggles.

The Gunners crashed to their worst ever start in the English Premier League after their 2-1 defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.

Arsenal have collected just 13 points across their first 10 games of the new campaign – their lowest tally after so many games since 1981/82 season when England’s top-flight wasn’t yet known as the Premier League.

Some fans have called for the recall of Ozil to the starting line-up as they feel that there is lack creativity in the middle of the park.

German playmaker Ozil has fallen out of favour under current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and he is yet to make a single appearance for the team this term.

“The team is struggling because when you are not picking points from week to week the team can be low on confidence too sometimes,” Ikpeba said on All Nigeria Soccer.

“They have done well in the Europa League so far but they have struggled in the last four to five Premier League games.

“[Thomas] Partey came in from Atletico Madrid, that was a good buy. They need a creative player in the middle of the park.”

Renowned for his technical skills and creativity, Ozil is widely considered to be one of the best attacking midfielders in the world.

Ikpeba, who played under former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger at French Ligue 1 giants AS Monaco during his playing days, is not convinced that Ozil can help revitalize the Gunners.

“I don’t think Ozil is the solution, people have been talking, I don’t really buy into that,” he continued.

“They can go out there and look for a quality player that can contribute and can give those passes, that has the eye to give those passes to the likes of [[Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang], [Bukayo] Saka.

“Saka has been outstanding so far, the young Nigerian playing for the English national team but they have not been picking points and when you are not picking points you do struggle,” he added.

“When you look at the Arsenal performance towards the end of last season – how they destroyed the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea – all the way to win the FA Cup.

“Then you start to see light at the end of the tunnel for this Arsenal side but it has not happened in the last four, five games.”

Arsenal will look to their Gabonese captain Aubameyang when they face their London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a league match on Sunday.

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