Saturday, June 19, 2021

Ozil links Arsenal future to coach Wenger


tiamin rice

Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between PFC Ludogorets and Arsenal, on November 1, 2016 at the Vassil Levski stadium in Sofia. NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP

Arsenal’s German international Mesut Ozil says he is waiting to learn the fate of manager Arsene Wenger before agreeing to sign a new contract with the London club.

Wenger’s contract at Arsenal expires at the end of the season and Ozil’s decision hinges on whether it is renewed or not, he told German football magazine Kicker.

“The club know that I am here above all because of Arsene Wenger, who came to get me and who has placed his trust in me. The club also know that I want to have clarity first of all about what the manager is going to do,” he said.

Ozil’s contract has 18 months left to run and he said he is ready to re-sign, depending on Wenger’s fate.

“I am very happy playing for Arsenal and I feel very very good here. I told the club I am ready to sign extend my contract. The supporters want me here. So now it is up to the club.”

Arsenal, fifth in the table behind leaders Chelsea, are still in with a chance of winning the title, he insisted.

“A year ago at this stage we were top and many people thought we would be champions. Now Chelsea are in that position … But I am convinced we can still achieve our goal of being top,” he said.

Ozil, 28, who has been out because of ill health for the last three Arsenal games, said the absence of a winter break in English football meant Premier League players never recovered the sharpness they had at the start of the season.

“No Premier League player can claim he is as sharp as at the start of the season,” he said.

“As a player you need a break, not only physically but mentally too.”

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