Marc Overmars claims he has advised former club Arsenal to sell Mesut Ozil and sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax as a replacement.
Arsenal should sell polarising playmaker Mesut Ozil and sign Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, according to former Gunners star Marc Overmars.
Ozil has long been a contentious figure at Arsenal, with many supporters underwhelmed by his performances in recent years despite being one of the Premier League’s highest-paid players.
The German seemingly failed to endear him to head coach Unai Emery, who afforded Ozil only 20 league starts in 2018-19.
In contrast, Ziyech, a hard-working attacking midfielder, was inspirational in Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals and is reportedly available for the relatively low figure of €35million.
Dutchman Overmars – who is technical director at Ajax – claims he told Arsenal to replace Ozil with Morocco international Ziyech, but his advice went unheeded.
“I am a bit surprised that it is still so quiet around Hakim,” Overmars told Voetbal International.
Sit down and take a moment to enjoy.
All goals & assists 18_19 –> Hakim Ziyech!
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) 5 June 2019
“I think he has played better every year and his statistics are exceptionally good. Many clubs are increasingly looking at that.
“They look more at the numbers than at what he shows and what is happening around him. I think Hakim Ziyech is better than Mesut Ozil.
“I would say [to Arsenal]: sell him [Ozil] and you will get Ziyech for half the price, but they didn’t listen to me. So, it could just be that he stays with Ajax.”
One Ajax star who is being strongly linked with other clubs is David Neres, the Brazil international winger who also enjoyed a strong campaign.
Atletico Madrid are said to be the favourites to land him and Overmars did confirm an offer has been made to Ajax, with the bid from an unnamed club set to be discussed in the coming days.
“Next week we are going to the table [for discussions] with his guidance,” Overmars said. “For David, one club’s interest is concrete, with an offer.
“We will then talk about that, but it is the intention that we as Ajax are leading [the discussions]. He was able to leave for China last winter, but we didn’t let him go.
“Look how it worked out for Ajax, but also for him; he is now an international with Brazil.”
Enjoy life, enjoy Neres…
All goals & assists! What was your favourite? pic.twitter.com/mQfkPF2n3I
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) 31 May 2019