Mesut Ozil has “lost his motivation and desire”, according to Emmanuel Petit, with a man seeing his Arsenal future called into question on a regular basis now “waiting for his retirement”.
Despite having committed to fresh terms with the Gunners less than a year ago, the World Cup-winning midfielder could soon be heading for the exits at Emirates Stadium.
His agent has sought to quash talk of an imminent transfer, but Unai Emery continues to overlook him and offer little suggestion that the 30-year-old is an important part of his plans.
Petit believes the German playmaker has fallen out of favour because he has achieved that all he set out to in a distinguished career, with a man who once graced the very top of the game now merely going through the motions.
The ex-Arsenal midfielder told the Mirror: “I think he lost his motivation and desire. He now looks as if he is just waiting for his retirement.
“A player losing his motivation happens a lot. We are not robots. 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.
“It’s a great shame because I hope he can do something not just for himself but also for the club. He’s a beautiful player, but he needs to be loved.
“It’s January. In two weeks’ time, the market is closed. I don’t see him leaving the club. Where would he go? To China? Honestly. Do you want to see Ozil finish his career in China?
“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.”
While suggesting that Ozil needs to feel wanted in north London, Petit believes the issues which led to international retirement being announced in the summer of 2018 have contributed to the struggles of a player with undoubted ability.
The Frenchman added: “What happened with the national team, has had a big impact on him.
“I was following the story for weeks and weeks in Germany and Turkey and I thought to myself, ‘It’s far beyond the limits.’ Some people attack Ozil as a person, not as a footballer.
“This is the life of a modern sportsman, you need to do that. You need to fight.
“I don’t want him to leave Arsenal, I just want him to come back on the pitch and to do what he’s being paid for.”