Club legend Paul Merson feels that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has taken a risk by leaving Mesut Ozil out of his first-team squad.
Despite being the highest paid player at the Emirates Stadium, Ozil has been omitted from the squads for the Premier League and Europa League.
While the Germany international has not featured since before the coronavirus pandemic, Merson says that he was surprised by Arteta's decision.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Merson said: "He's an absolute talent. So, to keep him out of the squad, completely out of the squad, it's a big gamble by Arsenal.
"He's on massive wages, no doubting that. He gets fortunes. I'm surprised, it shocked me. When I was told that he'd been left out of the squad I was shocked if I'm being honest, because I am one of his biggest fans.
"I think when he's on song, he can play and you've got to remember just before lockdown, he was playing. He was playing in Arteta's team so for him to come back and then not be in the team and not even get a squad place, yeah I'm quite surprised."
Ozil has less than a year remaining on his contract at the North London outfit.