Mesut Ozil's career as a Germany international could have already run its course, according to Sky Sports journalist Hush Kerai.
The Arsenal midfielder has been shouldering the blame for Die Mannschaft's early World Cup exit, and his appearing in a picture with Turkey President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, certainly hasn't helped his case with fans at home.
Ozil helped Germany win the World Cup in 2014 and has 92 caps for his country, but it appears his time as an international could be up following his fractured relationship with supporters, as well as the off-field controversy.
His father, Mustafa, has since advised the player to quit the national side, claiming that his son has been left disappointed and upset by the treatment he's been receiving.
“If I were in his place, I would say: ‘Thank you, but that’s enough,’” he told BILD this weekend (H/T Independent).
“He’s bent, disappointed and offended, yes offended. His own fans booed him before the World Cup at the International in Austria and he cannot understand why.”
The player's father also reckons the Arsenal man shouldn't have to explain the meeting with Turkey's leader to anyone.
“It wasn’t the first photo of Mesut [Ozil] with Erdogan, I knew it wasn’t a political statement from him or anything like that,” Mustafa added.
Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff believes #GER should have dropped Mesut Ozil from the team following photo op with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Bierhoff added that the pic caused a media storm for Ozil and unnecessary distractions for the team. pic.twitter.com/l0i1DhahU0— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) July 9, 2018
“He had it taken out of politeness. Mesut [Ozil] is a reserved person, almost shy, how could he have turned down a photo if a man like Erdogan asks him?
“He doesn’t always have to defend himself. He’s played in the national team for nine years and became a world champion.
“It’s always said that if we win, we win together, but if we lose, we lose because of Ozil. He’s booed and put up as a scapegoat – I completely understand that he is offended.
“Mesut’s been an example for years. The situation is absurd – he loves Germany and has shown commitment to his country, that he’s presented as a scapegoat is so unfair.”
Ozil will rejoin Arsenal for training on July 23, after which he will fly to south-east Asia with the club for their pre-season tour.