Arsenal need to “cut their losses” on Mesut Ozil and let the World Cup winner move on, says Martin Keown, with the German no longer considered to be “part of the future” in north London.
Ozil, who joined the Gunners from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013, has taken in 254 appearances during his seven seasons in England and scored 44 goals.
The 31-year-old's creativity has proved to be a useful asset at times, but questions over his form and attitude have never been far away.
That remains the case at present, with Mikel Arteta having left the experienced performer out of his plans for the Premier League restart.
A surprising snub has sparked further speculation regarding Ozil’s future, with the breaking of a lucrative contract having been mooted for some time.
Keown believes Arteta needs to be forcing that issue in the next window, with Unai Emery having ignored similar pleas and ultimately paid the price for failing to get Arsenal’s house in order.
“The Ozil situation when Emery took the job, I felt at that time the best thing he could have done is to take Ozil away and sell him at that point,” former Gunners defender Keown told talkSPORT.
“In fact, I advised him to do that at the time.
“What we have seen with Ozil – for one reason or another, and everyone feels you’re picking on him – he’s a player that isn’t part of the future at Arsenal.
“They need to cut their losses and let Ozil go, otherwise the other players see the bad habits that he may have.
“I’m assuming he hasn’t trained well enough and really given it everything, and the manager now doesn’t want to invest any more time in him.
“But when you have someone around the edges of a football club like that, with all of those impressionable young men, it’s time for change.
“Arteta is part of that change and part of that new freshness, but if you don’t make the right decisions then you are no longer a part of that, you are a part of the past.”
Arsenal, who have seen their faint top-four hopes fade even further on the back of successive defeats to Manchester City and Brighton, will be back in action on Thursday when they take in a trip to Southampton.