The former international from Germany, who also played for the Gunners, claims his old teammate deserves better treatment from the Premier League side.
The club and coach Mikel Arteta have been criticized for their handling of out-of-favor midfielder Mesut Ozil by former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski.
Since March, Ozil, 32, has not made a senior appearance for Arsenal and has been left out of the Premier League and Europa League squad for this season.
Before publicly promising to pay the salaries of the club’s mascot after he was allegedly made redundant, the midfielder made headlines for his refusal to take a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis.
At the end of October, Mikel Arteta said he was “trying to give Ozil as many chances” to win back his place in the squad, but Podolski claims his former team-mate was handled unfairly.
I don’t know the context, but I normally think that with a player who’s now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, throwing him out of the squad completely … that’s not okay at all, “Bild said.”
You don’t do anything like that, and I don’t know whether or not something has happened in the past, but you don’t do anything, even though anything has been done.
On the pitch, he demonstrated his class, he was never hostile towards his peers or the club. It’s sad because, in this case, everybody loses. This way, it does not stop. In this case, Arsenal as a club have not looked good in recent months.
But Laurent Koscielny, the former Arsenal captain, expressed his support, describing him as “a really nice guy.”
“He’s a phenomenon, as a player, in my opinion. He can find passes that nobody sees, he’s a maestro,” he told L’Equipe. “With amazing passes, he can rock a game.
“Both of us belong to the ‘Arsene Wenger Generation.’ As a player, the coach loved him. With Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta, it was more difficult.
For his handling of the situation, Ozil’s agent blamed the Arsenal manager, telling ESPN: “Arsenal fans deserve an honest clarification, not [Arteta] saying: ‘I failed Ozil.'” Ozil, you didn’t fail: you failed to be reasonable, truthful and straightforward and treat someone who has a contract and has been loyal all the time with respect.
“Anyone outside knows that he hasn’t treated him equally. This season, he didn’t give him an opportunity to prove himself.”