Arsenal fan Harry Gibson has his say on Mesut Ozil's future with the Gunners…
With the January transfer window approaching, Arsenal have to make a decision on whether to sell Mesut Ozil or face letting him walk for nothing in the summer.
Ordinarily selling a player of Ozil's class should be a difficult decision, but here it is straightforward. The club must get rid in January.
But being Arsenal, it almost certainly won't play out as it should.
Ozil’s desire to leave is surely signalled by his decision not to sign a new contract, and keeping a player who doesn't want to stay is rarely advisable.
Arsenal do have a track record of shifting wantaway stars when it becomes clear their departure is inevitable. This is what makes the current Ozil, and Alexis Sanchez, situation an outlier as far as their recent transfer business is concerned.
This time the club's leverage has been almost completely decimated by letting it get to this stage.
In fact, Arsenal might not be able to sell their languid trequartista even if they want to.
If the German doesn’t agree personal terms with any potential suitor he is in a position to run down his contract in order to have total control over his future. They are essentially at Ozil's mercy.
Still, the club must do their best to offload Ozil to an overseas club in January. That is now the best-case scenario.
If rumours of Barcelona’s interest are true, Arsenal must learn from the mistakes of the past (hello, Robin van Persie) and pursue a deal that ensures Ozil can have no impact on the club's domestic fortunes.
This will involve a discount price for the player, but should be viewed as preferable, given the way Manchester United reaped the benefits of signing Van Persie. Arsenal should not be willing to roll the dice on whether Ozil can thrive elsewhere in the Premier League.
The school of thought that Ozil should be kept in January rests on the idea he can help Arsenal finish in the top four, improving their capacity to recruit top players if – or when – he leaves next summer.
But the German's effectiveness remains one of the most divisive subjects in football, and though he has his days, he often goes missing, and remains an enigma.
Arsenal are not exactly world beaters with him; not on a consistent basis at least. So if you sell him how much worse do you get? Bad enough to finish outside the top six? Definitely not.
Since the player is surely gone at the end of the season anyway, at least selling him in January gives Arsenal the chance to get some compensation and invest in a player who could add something to the squad.
What do you think Arsenal should do about the 'Ozil situation'? Share your thoughts – join the debate by leaving a comment below.