Keown says Mesut Ozil lacked Kieran Tierney quality to become Arsenal’s greatest
Martin Keown says Mesut Ozil could have been Arsenal's greatest ever player – if he had what Kieran Tierney has.
Ozil looks has been widely tipped to join Fenerbahce in the January transfer window after being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta since last March.
Tierney, on the other hand, was one of the Gunners' best performers in their FA Cup win over Newcastle and has been widely hailed as the club's player of the season so far.
Arsenal legend Keown says Ozil's talent has never been in doubt.
And the former defender reckons he could have been even better than the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp if he had Tierney's determination.
“It hurts me that a player of that talent can’t get on the football pitch, it’s a crying shame,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“For me, he doesn’t go down as a legend, because he doesn’t match the energy and determination of legends that I’ve seen at that football club.
“If he had Tierney’s determination, coupled with that ability, he might’ve gone down as the best player ever to play for Arsenal.
“He’s become calculated in the way that he’s undermining the club with tweets, and I think it’s now time to go.”
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Keown has blasted Ozil in the past, and was on the end of a backlash back in 2018 when he accused the playmaker of "crocodile tears".
But the 54-year-old stands by his criticism as Ozil's seven-and-a-half year spell at Arsenal appears to be coming to an end.
“Two-and-a-half years ago when Atletico Madrid knocked Arsenal out of the Europa League, I watched very closely and it felt like he was conning the fans," said Keown, who won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the Cup Winners' Cup with the Gunners.
“He wasn’t giving everything for the shirt; I accused him of crocodile tears, it felt like something was very wrong."
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The Invincibles hero added: “That was two-and-a-half years ago, and my opinion hasn’t changed.
“There was a session of illnesses, a mystery back injury, away games he wasn’t available.
“Is there a problem with the player? Is he conning us? Eventually he’ll write a book and we’ll get to know the whole story.
“But if you’ve got that much talent and you’re not getting picked, you can’t be giving 100 per cent, and that was happening two-and-a-half years ago.
“He [the agent] accused me of jealousy and not being worthy; I think the 449 games for Arsenal qualify me, I’m not sure how many the agent has played.
“My eyes don’t lie. Statistics tell you an amazing story about Ozil, which I don’t think is convincing.”
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