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Thomas Vermaelen – Mesut Ozil is world class but Mikel Arteta is the best judge of his Arsenal situation

The former Arsenal defender also felt that Gunners’ Spanish manager is doing a tremendous job at North London…

Mesut Ozil’s plight at Arsenal has been subject to a lot of debate around the world, especially in the wake of Arsenal’s less-than-ideal start to the Premier League season. 

The Gunners are currently 14th on the table with just 13 points from 10 matches and a lack of creativity in the team has been highlighted. Many have argued that Ozil, who has been frozen out of the squad, could be an answer to Arteta’s conundrum. 

Former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen feels that the situation that led to the falling out between the German and the manager is unfortunate, given the quality that Ozil possesses. However, he also stated that Arteta could have had his reasons for the decision that has seen Ozil left out of the Gunners’ Premier League squad altogether. 

Vermaelen spent a season playing alongside Ozil before moving to Barcelona in 2014. 

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“I am just watching it on TV and I don’t know what is going on behind the closed doors. So it is difficult for me to judge. When I played with him, he was very important and produced a lot of creativity,” Vermaelen told Goal .

But that is not the only thing in football, you have to produce more and I don’t know, Mikel Arteta can judge him best and see what is going on in training and in the games and probably there is a reason why he is not in the squad.”

The 35-year-old, who is currently playing for Japanese outfit Vissel Kobe, expressed his disappointment over the state of affairs.

Thomas Vermaelen Kobe

“Personally, I feel he is a great player and world-class player but it’s not working well between him and the club. It is a shame. It will be nice to see him perform again at the top level for Arsenal. Unfortunately, there are reasons why he is not on the team.”

The Belgian is no stranger to Arteta, with both of them having played together for Gunners for almost three seasons. Vermaelen feels Arteta’s leadership qualities were evident even during his playing days and feels the Arsenal manager’s job is richly deserved for the Spaniard. 

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Arteta is currently in his first job as a head coach, having assisted Pep Guardiola at Manchester City prior to replacing Unai Emery at the Emirates. But Vermaelen rejected suggestions that the job might have come too soon for him. 


“I don’t think so (that the job came too soon for Arteta). I think he is doing a terrific job. It is not easy to come into a club so early and change everything all of a sudden. What I can see from outside he is doing a good job.

“When I was at Arsenal I saw him as one of the leaders of the team and made sure the team could improve tactically. As a player, he was involved. I think he was well prepared already. Of course, it is all in the moment and unfortunately, that is where people look at as things are not going as they want to go but that does not mean the job came too soon.

“He was working under (Pep) Guardiola for a couple of years at Man City and he was also doing stuff behind the scenes when he was already a player.”

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