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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil accused of 'downing tools' during Arsenal's struggles by Martin Keown

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 19/5/2017 James Benge

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil have been accused of “downing tools” when the going got tough for Arsene Wenger this season by Arsenal great Martin Keown.

The future of both Arsenal stars remains in doubt as they approach the final season of their contract with talks on extensions shelved until the summer.

Arsenal have offered both bumper deals to stay next season, with Sanchez offered a Premier League record £300,000-a-week, and Wenger has said he remains confident that both players will be at the club next season.

However Keown believes Sanchez and Ozil’s failure to make a significant contribution when Arsenal were enduring their worst run of form in Wenger’s reign should lead to serious questions at the Emirates over whether either should stay at the club.

“The club have to work out whether they are willing to push the boat out and pay Sanchez and Ozil substantially more than anyone else,” Keown wrote in the Daily Mail.

“They are two special players for Wenger. He warms to players who are particularly gifted with the ball — they are the core of his beliefs in football.

“But there can be problems if you over indulge them. When there was talk of Sanchez and Ozil wanting out, it coincided with Arsenal losing seven games in 12 and getting knocked out of the Champions League.

“Sanchez and Ozil downed tools during those games. There is a fear that if Arsenal give them ridiculous sums of money to stay, they could throw their toys out of the pram once more when things go wrong.”

Both players have enjoyed a notable upswing in form over recent weeks as Arsenal have got back to winning ways – and Wenger has given the pair free roles in a 3-4-2-1. Ozil has provided two goals and two assists in his last seven league games whilst Sanchez has scored five in the same period.

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