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Arsenal must be wishing they let Mesut Ozil leave rather than tying him to £350k deal

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A year on from handing him a luxury £350,000 a week deal, Arsenal must be wishing they let Mesut Ozil leave Just under a year ago, Arsenal secured Mesut Ozil to new, highly-paid terms But he was absent from the squad when they took on West Ham on Saturday The deal has hamstrung Arsenal as they look to rebuild the squad for Unai EmeryIt now seems no more than a morale boost during Arsene Wenger's last days 

At the time if felt like, if not a triumph, then at least a sign that the forces that were overwhelming Arsenal were in abeyance. 

It really was just under a year ago when Arsenal delightedly announced that Mesut Ozil had signed a new three-and-half-year contract.

After all they had just lost Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United and though they had salvaged what was effectively a swap deal for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, their hands had been tied as the Chilean had less than six months on is deal left.

Mesut Ozil was absent from the squad as Arsenal lost to West Ham away from home

Unai Emery decided against including a fit Ozil when his team travelled to London Stadium

Ozil was in the same position and to lose another star of that team at a time when Arsene Wenger's grip on the side was clearly loosening and the future seemed uncertain would have seemed unthinkable. 

One year on, you can bet that Raul Sanllehi, the new head of football at Arsenal, must be wishing his predecessor as chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, had actually had actually done what had seemed inconceivable and let Ozil leave.

When Labour lost the 2010 General Election, Treasury Secretary Liam Byrne left a note for his successor in the coalition government reading: 'Sorry: there's no money.' 

Gazidis didn't quite do that as he left to double his salary an join AC Milan. But having given in to Ozil's demands for £350,000 a week and signed Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Mkhiraryan on £250,000 a week, he might as well have done.

It now feels like the last luxury of the Arsene Wenger era, an attempt to paper over the cracks

Gazidis and Arsene Wenger's last transfer window for the club effectively tied the hands of their successors to the extent that Emery is left talking about taking players on loan this January. 

In effect they have been lumbered with a luxury item. Ozil can't even make the bench at Arsenal, deemed less effective than Eddie Nketiah and three full backs when weighing who could make an impact on this game.

When it was put to Emery that the Arsenal could ill afford to have their best paid players as a play time talisman, his response was pointed.

'I think the players that were here were the players that deserved to be at this match,' he said. 'And with them we can win and we can lose. I decided the idea of the players that I think are the best for this match. 

The decision to hand him a new deal has hamstrung Emery in the January transfer window

'We win with him, we lose with him. I think it's not one player for saying we can't win or lose. 

'I can say he [Mesut] is working this week normally. Like I say to you, we have won with him, we have lost with him. We continue working with every player as they are all important but today the decision is come with these players.' 

Emery's message to the board seems pretty clear: he won't be using Ozil regularly so they might as well sell him. But no-one will take on those wages for 30-year-old. 

Arsenal might loan him while accepting they will still pay the majority of his wages. Or they can simply wait two and half years for the contract to run down. 

That's a a heavy price to pay for the sake of one morale-boosting press release designed to plaster over the cracks of the end of the Wenger era.

Arsenal may now be regretting their decision to not let Ozil leave the club last campaign

For more news relating to West Ham, visit our sister site Hammers Live.
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