Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has revealed that he stills wants the No.10 jersey at the club as he continues to delay signing a new contract.
The German international has worn the No.11 shirt since arriving from Real Madrid in 2013, but has made no secret of his desire to swap numbers.
That jersey still belongs to Jack Wilshere, and despite the fact that the Arsenal midfielder is currently on a season-long loan deal at Bournemouth, Ozil still hasn’t been able to have his way.
With his contract expiring in 2018, Ozil revealed in an interview with kicker that his future hinges on what Arsene Wenger will do when his deal comes to an end this summer. Meanwhile, it sounds as though the shirt number could also be a sticking point in negotiations based on these comments.
“I would love to wear the 10 shirt, I always wanted that, the club knew from the beginning,” he added in the interview, as quoted by ESPN.
“When I came to Arsenal in 2013, Jack Wilshere already had the 10. The club said I would get the 10 when it was free. It has been free since Wilshere’s departure in the summer – I have not been able to do it yet.”
It’s difficult to play down the importance of this point given that Ozil has gone public with his desire to get the shirt number, and perhaps this really does hold weight in talks with the club moving forward.
Wilshere won’t want to give up the jersey as he is expected to return to Arsenal at the end of the season and will push on and look to cement his place in the starting line-up having proven his fitness and form with Bournemouth so far this season.
In turn, it sets up a potentially decisive headache for the Gunners, as they’ll want to keep both players happy and it seems like it will be impossible to do so on this occasion.