Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit has claimed that Mesut Ozil has 'lost his desire' at the club and believes they need to add players in January to improve their 'average' defence.
Ozil, who was taken off at half-time during Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Brighton on Boxing Day, has been linked with a move away from club in the upcoming transfer window, with Petit suggesting the midfielder has lost his passion to play for the Gunners.
Nov 25, Bournemouth: Unused sub— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 29, 2018
Dec 2, Dec 5, Dec 8: Back injury
Dec 16, Southampton: 20-minute cameo
Dec 22, Burnley: Captain, starring role
Dec 26, Brighton: Subbed off at half time
Dec 29: Injured
Mesut Ozil is an enigma right now pic.twitter.com/9V33ZeLAae
Speaking in his blog for Paddy Power, Petit said: "Mesut Ozil was taken off at half-time. I’m a big fan of Ozil, but he has been a ghost for the past two years.
"Where is the Ozil who was one of the best players around, making so many assists and goals? I think he has lost his desire on the pitch. It’s not there any more."
Petit's criticism of his former club didn't stop with Ozil however, with the Frenchman also criticised Arsenal's squad in general, as well as voicing specific concerns regarding their defence, and thinks Unai Emery needs to add to his side in January.
He added: "I don’t know what’s going on with some of these players. During the long unbeaten run, you thought to yourself, 'Maybe Arsenal are back on 'track.” But after the game against Southampton I looked back at the number of those unbeaten games in which they were lucky. Suddenly, reality returned.
"In defence they are weak. They’re average. They make individual and collective errors – sometimes you have to laugh. The injuries are not an excuse – most of the players who stepped in are internationals.
"Arsenal need to bring in more players from the transfer market if they want to reach the Champions League. They are close. It’s not done – there’s a long way to go, but when I look at Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City and even Chelsea, I think they have a better chance than Arsenal of finishing in the top four."
Arsenal conclude their 2018 with a trip to current Premier League leaders Liverpool, a game that Ozil will miss due to an apparent injury, as they look to end a run of four games without a win.