Sky Sports pundit: Arsenal need 30-year-old to finish in top four
Tim Sherwood believes Mesut Ozil is key to Arsenal's hopes of finishing in the top four this season
Arsenal need to recall Mesut Ozil to the first team if the Gunners are to finish in the top four this season, according to former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood.
The north London side are in fifth place and a point behind Manchester United in the race to secure the final Champions League qualification spot.
Ozil has found his first-team opportunities limited since Unai Emery took over the reins from Arsene Wenger last summer.
The World Cup winner has only started 13 games in the Premier League this season to highlight the German’s struggles at The Emirates.
Emery hasn’t been afraid to omit Ozil from the Gunners side for their biggest Premier League fixtures or prematurely substitute the 30-year-old.
Arsenal have struggled to find a level of consistency in recent months to cast doubt on the top-four challenge and allow Manchester United to renter the race for a Champions League spot.
Former Totteham manager Sherwood believes Emery needs to have a change of heart and restore Ozil to his Arsenal team to bolster their prospects of wrapping up fourth spot.
“He can’t do anything right in Unai Emery’s mind at the moment,” Sherwood told Sky Sports.
“For me, he has to play. I would play him. I’d get the best out of him because of what they have at their disposal.
“I don’t think they’ve got the quality of Mesut Ozil. He needs to play and it’s up to the manager to get the best out of him. You’re paying him £350,000 a week, to do what? To do nothing. It’s a glorified Fitness First. It’s no good.
“They need to get him on the pitch and playing for Arsenal because it’s their only chance of getting towards the top four.”
Ozil moved to Arsenal in a £42.5m deal from La Liga giants Real Madrid in the 2013 summer transfer window.
The German has won three FA Cup titles during his spell at Arsenal so far.