Freddie Ljungberg criticises Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over Mesut Ozil decision

Arsenal hero Freddie Ljungberg insists Mesut Ozil should be a part of the Gunners squads. Ozil was left out of both the Premier League and Europa League squads earlier this season, meaning he cannot feature in either competition until at least January. The German has not played a competitive match for the Gunners since March.

Ozil started three of Ljungberg’s six matches in interim charge of Arsenal before the appointment of Mikel Arteta last December.

The Swede admits there are certain games which may not suit Ozil but says the creativity he brings is vital against “smaller clubs”.

Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Leeds United, Arsenal had scored just nine goals in their first eight league games of the season.

Ljungberg says he still believed Ozil’s “fantastic” creative ability made up for his shortcomings in other areas.

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“I can’t answer [why he’s not playing now], that I don’t know,” Ljungberg said on Sky Sports.

“But for me when I chose to play him, it was that I felt the club like Arsenal and you play at home and you play, no disrespect, smaller clubs, you think you should dominate a little bit and he should be on the pitch to unlock things with his special passes.

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“Yes, he maybe doesn’t have the athleticism that is demanded now in the Premier League, so you lose a little bit of that. But I felt we should be good enough.

“So I think maybe when you play [Manchester] City and they have the ball the whole time, all you do is run after the ball, maybe that’s not the game for having Mesut on the pitch.

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“But if you want creativity, his left foot is fantastic.”

Ljungberg admits Arteta’s system may not suit Ozil but reckons in some games there is a place for him in the side.

He added: “You have to look at how Arsenal play now, with the system they play. Where would you put him?

“The two midfielders in the middle are hard-working, and then they have the wingers.

“It’s almost in the position where Auba [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] plays, and obviously Auba will play.

“I felt like in certain games he really suits the play, just like every other player. Some games it maybe doesn’t suit him.”

Earlier this week, Arteta insisted he is “sad” that he had to leave a player like Ozil out of his squads.

“I’m hurt [about Ozil’s situation] because I don’t like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete,” Ozil told beIN SPORTS.

“For me it is really sad because I don’t think anybody deserves that. With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved.

“I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why.

“Some people will understand and other people won’t understand it.”

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