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31st May 2019

Fabregas: ‘Mesut Ozil doesn’t have it in him to be a leader’

Kyle Picknell

Cesc Fabregas becomes the latest pundit to publicly lambast Mesut Ozil

It may not mean much to Arsenal supporters now, but Monaco midfielder and occasional BT Sport football pundit Cesc Fabregas might just know a thing or two about leading the Gunners on the pitch.

After all, he made his debut for the club at just 16 years of age and was captaining the side by the 08/09 season – just his fifth in the Premier League and still only 21 years old.

As Arsenal lost the Europa League final in embarrassing fashion to Chelsea on Wednesday night, losing 4-1, Fabregas and his fellow pundit Eidur Gudjohnsen didn’t hold back in singling out Mesut Ozil for criticism.

“I think sometimes you have it inside you or you don’t have it. When he was at Real Madrid he was surrounded by top, top players and one of the best players in the history of the sport in Cristiano Ronaldo,” Fabregas explained.

“I’m not taking anything away from Mesut, he played top football there, but once you step down a little bit, because we can all agree, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich – they are top three, you have to show yourself a little bit more because you don’t have the same quality around you.

“The club buys you to be the actual leader around the club. I don’t think Mesut has that in him to carry. I don’t train with him every day. But I don’t think he has it in him to be a leader.”

Wow. Tell us what you really think, Cesc.

And if that was the knife, Gudjohnsen did his best to twist it, commenting on the lethargic way Ozil left the field after being substituted on the 77th minute for youth player Joe Willock.

“The one thing is, if you’re the manager of Arsenal… you’re 4-1 down in the final and you take Ozil off and he’s walking at the slowest pace like he’s waiting for a standing ovation,” Gudjohnsen added.

“I’m sorry but if that’s me I’d feel embarrassed. Head down and I’d sprint off the pitch. He’s a wonderful player, tremendous quality but as a manager, I could never watch that in my team.”

Ozil, Arsenal’s highest paid player on a reported £350,000 per week, still has two years left on his contract after signing an extension last February.

That waterfall-like sound you’re hearing? That’s every Arsenal fan who read that last sentence suddenly pouring themselves a stiff drink.