Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit believes that Mesut Ozil is struggling to motivate himself to play football. Despite being Arsenal's highest paid player, Ozil has fallen out of favour with manager Unai Emery, leading to rumours that he could be sold or loaned out in the near future.
Ozil, who last featured in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Brighton on Boxing Day, has had a lacklustre season by his standards, leading his manager to question him publicly on several occasions. The German playmaker has just three goals and one assist in his 13 league appearances this season, and he didn't even make the bench for the recent defeat to West Ham.
Petit, a World Cup winner in his own right, believes that Ozil's prior success in football is making it harder for him to motivate himself as he gets older.
“A player losing his motivation happens a lot. We are not robots," Petit said (as reported by the Daily Star). "Sometimes you get into a new season and it’s just not the same. It’s very difficult to play at the same level all of the time.
“If you earn so much money, have already won so many titles and, on top of that, if you have problems in your private life. I don’t know what’s going on in his life, but I can see what’s going on out on the pitch and his body language is not good."
To date, Ozil's list of honours includes domestic cups in Germany, Spain and England, a league title with Real Madrid and of course the World Cup with Germany in 2014. He has been linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, although Petit believes that's beneath him.
“I don’t see him leaving the club. Where would he go? To China? Honestly. You want to see Ozil finish his career in China?" Petit continued. “I’ve nothing against China, but for a player like Ozil, that cannot happen. I think the club needs Ozil, Ozil needs to understand that and he must get over his frustration and try to fight until the end. To somehow save his pride."