'You don't ask Messi to defend' - Arsenal must accept Ozil's flaws or sell him, says Kanu
The former Gunners striker is looking for the German's creative talents to be embraced, with it pointless expecting him to work hard on ball recovery
Arsenal need to accept Mesut Ozil’s flaws or “let him go”, says former Gunners striker Kanu.
The 29-year-old continues to see his every performance dissected in minute detail, with unwanted attention with Germany leading to him announcing his international retirement.
He has faced similar questioning at club level, with the creative playmaker considered to lack the work rate required to flourish in the Premier League.
Kanu, though, feels that enigmatic talents such as Ozil should be embraced, with it better to focus on the positive aspects of their game rather than become bogged down in their deficiencies.
Arsenal worked hard last season to put fresh terms in place with the prized asset, but their former forward told The Sun: “Every player is different. What you need is his strengths, not his weaknesses. He can work on his weaknesses but you can’t change him.
“Either you accept him or you let him go. You don’t want Maradona or Messi to go back and defend, you want them to go and do what they know how to do.
“If it’s a style of play, the coach has to accommodate that and make room for Mesut to play in that manner. I don’t know why people are still complaining a lot about him.”
Kanu, like Ozil, was capable of producing the unexpected during his playing days.
His unique skill set made him a cult hero in north London, but he was surrounded by a much more successful side.
That made it easier for him to play his own game, with Ozil currently being dragged down by the collective struggles of those around him.
Kanu does not expect a proven performer to alter his ways, but concedes that he could offer more to the cause at times.
The Nigerian added: “The only thing I can say is that sometimes he’s not into it.
“But you can never change him.”
Ozil and Arsenal, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City in their 2018-19 opener, return to Premier League action on Saturday when they take in a London derby date with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.