Steve Sidwell believes that Mesut Ozil has “ridiculous talent” but is let down by his attitude at Arsenal.
The German playmaker has barely featured for Arsenal this season after having fallen out of favour under Unai Emery at The Emirates.
Indeed, the 30-year-old has only played 71 minutes of Premier League football this term, in the 2-2 draw away to Watford last month.
Ozil, who is Arsenal’s highest-paid player, has struggled for both form and fitness under Emery and he has failed to hold down a regular spot at the north London club.
His lack of playing time this season is bound to lead to speculation linking him with a move away from The Emirates in the January transfer window.
Former Arsenal man Sidwell has now delivered his verdict on Ozil’s situation at the north London club.
Speaking in an interview with Paddy Power, Sidwell said: “He’s one of the most frustrating players for me over the past two seasons.
“He has got ridiculous talent but just doesn’t seem to care.
“Ultimately as a fan, and football is all about the fans, they just want to see someone who is going to go out there and try their hardest.
“They know they’re not going to go out there and have a great game every single week but as long as they are trying, when things don’t come off, they’ll still get applauded for putting in the effort.
“But he doesn’t even put that effort in. Some people say it’s his mannerisms, it’s just the way he plays, a bit like [Dimitar] Berbatov. But they’re obviously looking to get him out of the door.”
Sidwell added: “It all comes down to the individual. If you look at his situation and the money he’s on, he knows he can’t go somewhere else unless he takes a massive wage drop.
“Is he sat there thinking ‘you know what, it doesn’t bother me if I don’t go somewhere else, I’ll just stay here and collect the money. Maybe I’ll go on loan and let the club subsidise it?’
“I was in a situation at Stoke under Mark Hughes when I knew week in, week out I wasn’t going to play. But I trained my hardest Monday to Friday.”
Arsenal will return to Premier League action after the international break when the Gunners take on Sheffield United away from home.
The north London side are currently third in the table as they bid to break back into the top four and secure Champions League qualification for next season.
Arsenal finished fifth and without a trophy last term.