Arsenal legend sends warning to Mesut Ozil about Unai Emery

Alan Smith believes Mesut Ozil's place is no longer safe in the Arsenal team

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil Photo: Puma

Alan Smith has warned Mesut Ozil that Unai Emery won’t hesitate to drop the Arsenal star if he isn’t performing.

The Germany international became the best paid player at Arsenal earlier this year after the World Cup winner put pen to paper on a £350,000-a-week deal.

Arsenal signed Ozil in a £42.5m deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window after an impressive spell in La Liga.

The 29-year-old has struggled to find a level consistency over the past few seasons at the north London side to prompt criticism of the German playmaker.

Ozil started Arsenal’s 3-2 loss to Chelsea FC at Stamford Bridge last weekend but the Spanish head coach replaced the attacking midfielder at half-time.

Emery hasn’t been afraid to be ruthless in his tactical adjustments since taking over the reins of the Emirates Stadium outfit.

Former Arsenal striker Smith warned Ozil that his position in the Gunners team isn’t safe.

“If we can learn anything from Unai Emery’s first two games in charge, it’s that he won’t hesitate hooking players, no matter their reputation,” Smith told the Evening Standard.

“Mesut Ozil is, of course, the most obvious example, sacrificed at Chelsea after 68 largely anonymous minutes.

“Aside from the effect this might have on the German, it sends out an important message to the rest of the squad: fall short of my expectations and your time is up. No room in my team for passengers.”

Arsenal finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a spot in the Champions League in successive seasons.

The Gunners have lost to Manchester City and Chelsea FC in their opening two Premier League fixtures.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the winner of Chelsea FC v Man City
Jurgen Klopp
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Brentford v Liverpool FC
Thomas Tuchel
Shaun Wright-Phillips predicts where Chelsea FC and Man City will finish
Paul Merson
Paul Merson discusses his prediction for Man United v Aston Villa
Marcelo Bielsa
Paul Merson explains his prediction for Leeds United v West Ham United
Paul Merson
Paul Merson predicts the winner of Chelsea FC v Man City
Jurgen Klopp
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Brentford v Liverpool FC
Thomas Tuchel
Shaun Wright-Phillips predicts where Chelsea FC and Man City will finish
Paul Merson
Paul Merson discusses his prediction for Man United v Aston Villa
Marcelo Bielsa
Paul Merson explains his prediction for Leeds United v West Ham United
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature