Tony Adams has urged Mikel Arteta to bring Mesut Ozil back into the first-team fold at Arsenal, suggesting the German can be the "cherry on the cake".
Ozil has been frozen out by his manager and looks set for a bitter departure from the Emirates when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Premier League or Europa League until at least January, after Arteta opted not to register him for either competition.
But Adams feels Ozil could still play a pivotal role and explained why now would be an ideal opportunity to let him loose.
"Ozil for me is one of the best creative players in the world," Adams said on Sky Sports' The Football Show . "What he struggles with at times is the defensive side.
"To win the league we need great players, like Dennis Bergkamp. Now and again I would ask Dennis to get back in behind the ball and just do a little bit for us. That’s all Ozil needs to do.
"But when you’re putting him on the sides and asking him to go with runners, he’s not got that in him. But with [Thomas] Partey he’s got someone who can [do that]."
Ozil has not played for Arsenal since March and has not been included in a single matchday squad so far this season.
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Any hopes of Arteta making a U-turn on Ozil's involvement looks increasingly slim, with Arsenal's regimented 3-4-3 formation appearing to have no room for the luxury playmaker.
But after several defeats in recent weeks, Arteta may well be reconsidering his strategy.
Arsenal's lack of creativity has been the biggest problem as they have struggled to hit the back of the net in three of their last four matches, with their only goal coming from the penalty spot.
Should Arteta recall Ozil into the Arsenal side? Have your say below.
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang even failed to muster a single shot at goal in the damning loss to Aston Villa – which is where Adams believes Ozil can help whip up the perfect recipe.
"I always said Ozil’s the cherry on the cake without [Arsenal having] the cake but we’re getting some players in the team [now] with stability there," he added.
"There’s signs you could get the cherry on and let him pull the strings for Aubameyang down the middle.
"I would love to see Ozil in behind feeding Aubameyang all day long."
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