Former star Ray Parlour has urged Mesut Ozil to replicate Dennis Bergkamp’s consistency to help Arsenal back into the top four. Ozil’s future in north London remains uncertain, with Arsenal chiefs willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old in a bid to slash their wage bill and free up transfer funds for manager Unai Emery.
The German has two years to run on his current deal but it is unlikely another top-level European club will be prepared to match his reported £350,000-a-week salary. And if the midfielder stays put, 46-year-old Parlour, who was part of Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ in the 2003-04 season, wants him to follow the example of fellow playmaker Bergkamp from his successful spell with the Gunners.
“If Mesut is going to play a part in getting Arsenal back in the top four, then the club should keep him,” Parlour said. “But he has got to work hard. “I played with Dennis Bergkamp and he very rarely had a poor game – you always knew what you would get out of him – and that is what Mesut needs to do, too.
“The best players are consistent and I want to see that from Mesut. He is a quality player but he goes in and out of games, and it could be argued that he goes missing in the big matches. That is when you need your top men to perform. “He should have that in his locker. He has won the World Cup and starred for massive clubs. He just needs to show that desire to play for his team-mates and show more energy.”