Mesut Ozil says his Arsenal future does not depend solely on Arsene Wenger staying on as manager.
Ozil’s Arsenal deal – like that of Alexis Sanchez – expires in the summer of 2018 and the Germany international has previously hinted his future is linked to Wenger’s, who brought him to the Emirates from Real Madrid in 2013.
“It does not only depend on the manager,” he said. “Of course he was the one who convinced me to join Arsenal and he was a main factor for me to come here. He is a very experienced coach who made Arsenal one of the best clubs in the world.
“You must have respect for him, because he is a great manager. But I do not decide whether the manager stays or not. What’s important for me is that we develop as a team and reach our goals.”
Ozil, meanwhile, says there is nothing wrong with his attitude amid claims he does not pull his weight at Arsenal.
Ozil is often criticised for a perceived lack of effort when he lines up for Arsenal, with the criticism having intensified in recent months with Arsenal struggling for results, falling out of the Premier League top four and being hammered 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
“Some people like me, some people don’t,” Arsenal’s club-record signing said. “Some people look at my body language and think I don’t care. But that’s me. I won’t change my body language or my style of play drastically any more.
“Expectations on me were very high everywhere, because I am a player who can make the difference. You have to deal with that. There will always be criticism and there will always be praise. But what matters is what the manager tells me. I have said that numerous times.
“But what I can’t understand is when people say, ‘Look, he does not push any more,’ or ‘He does not run enough.’ If you look at my numbers you can see I run a lot and I show a good attitude.”