Arsenal superstar Mesut Ozil has seen his future at the club suddenly become the subject of speculative doubt after he was benched for the weekend win over Bournemouth, amid claims manager Unai Emery has been disappointed with his contributions away from home.
Ozil has recently been captaining Arsenal and enjoyed one of his best ever Gunners performances in a victory against Leicester towards the end of October. But he was poor a week later away against Crystal Palace and remained an unused substitute for the Bournemouth trip.
According to the Daily Mirror, Emery was 'particularly disappointed' with Ozil against Palace as Arsenal drew 2-2. The Spaniard preaches a high work rate, especially away from home, and it appears that the club's highest earner is not delivering.
Bournemouth was Arsenal's first away game since the Palace fixture, while Ozil had also been substituted early in the home clash against Wolves, a game in which only heroic interventions from Bernd Leno and wasteful finishing from the visitors prevented a Gunners embarrassment.
The Mirror claims that Ozil 'knows he is no longer an automatic choice because of the away game issue', leading the newspaper to suggest the player is 'well aware' of the reason why he was benched on Sunday and even 'feared' it was coming.
It was less than 10 months ago that Ozil, who finally got his hands on Arsenal's number 10 shirt this season, committed his long-term future to the club with a new contract that made him the best paid player at the Emirates Stadium on a reported weekly wage of £350,000.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the player who replaced Ozil in the starting lineup in an attacking unit alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi. Alexandre Lacazette missed the game with a groin injury after being forced to withdraw from the France squad last week.