Arsene Wenger questions Mesut Ozil's effort levels at Arsenal after new long-term contract

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger talks with Mesut Ozil during a training session at London Colney on October 31, 2016 in St Albans, England. 1:50
Arsene Wenger has suggested Mesut Ozil's long-term contract at Arsenal may have made him too comfortable.

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the decision to offer Mesut Ozil a long-term contract last year may have left the German in a "comfort zone".

Ozil ended rumours about his future last year by committing himself to the Gunners until the summer of 2021, with Wenger still at the helm.

But the midfielder has been left out of the team on a number of occasions this season, with Unai Emery blaming a mixture of minor injuries and poor performances from the Germany international.

Ozil has started just one game for the Gunners since Boxing Day, leading to yet more speculation about whether he will stay at the Emirates beyond the end of this campaign.

"I feel that the length of the contract has nothing to do normally with the selection of the team. But sometimes there are special cases," Wenger said.

"Most of the time now we think when we sign a player for five years we have a good player for five years. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they practice, they play their best. Because they might be in their comfort zone.

 during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Cardiff City at Emirates Stadium on January 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. 3:11
There is no place for Mesut Ozil in Unai Emery's philosophy because he cannot be trusted, John Cross told the Sunday Supplement.

"He has a contract but the problem is that if you want to buy a player like him you have to spend £100m.

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"And to maintain the value of the player, beyond the Ozil case, it is more about the way football is structured.

"To buy players of top, top quality you need £100m. So the decision you have to make is whether you re-sign the player, who costs us nothing, or do we have the money to buy a new player?"

Wenger was speaking after being honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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