Arsenal's Mesut Ozil dealt another huge blow

Ozil

Mesut Ozil didn't even play on Thursday night against Southampton but he was dealt another big blow in his bid to save his time at the club.

The German has been an incredibly divisive figure at the Emirates Stadium with his colossal £350k-a-week wages always a talking point.

Will he stay or will he go? With just one year remaining on his current contract at the club, his long-term future in north London is rather unclear.

Cutting a lonely figure on the substitutes bench at St Mary's, he was reduced to watching from the sidelines for a third time since football's restart.

It appeared he'd become more adept at holding an umbrella above his head than playing football.

When Ozil doesn't play, he always appears to become a subject of discussion but it's a role he's become used to this season.

The playmaker has made just 18 Premier League starts this term and now has as many assists in the last two years as Andy Carroll does.

For someone who's made a living off assisting other players, that's a hugely humiliating statistic. 

Ozil

Unfortunately for the German, things didn't get any easier, failing to play a single minute in midweek.

Though, it wasn't Arteta handing him yet another big blow in terms of his Arsenal career, it was young midfielder Joe Willock.

The academy graduate came off the bench late on instead of Ozil, as he wrapped up proceedings with a close-range effort that found the back of the net.

Willock

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Willock was largely unimpressive when he started against Manchester City just over a week ago.

The 20-year-old completed 94% of his passes but not a single one of them was a key pass as his ability to be expressive and progressive was seriously thwarted. 

Though, versus Southampton, he was impressive in his small cameo, scoring off the bench while playing in an attacking midfield position.

Playing in a role that Ozil is used to, continued bright displays from the talented youngster won't help his cause, especially if he wants to remain at the club.

Willock is a player that Arteta clearly likes. He's played 12 times under the Spaniard with seven of those appearances coming in the Premier League.

Ozil, in comparison, has also featured 12 times. For a senior professional, you'd expect him to have more games under his belt than Willock - that simply hasn't happened.

Yet again, this was a meaty blow for Arsenal's number 10. He needs to improve his fitness quickly and ability quickly.

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