Mikel Arteta took the decision to leave the German out of his 25-man Premier League squad for this season as it looks increasingly like he has played his last game for the club.
The 32-year-old reacted to the news of his latest snub by accusing Arsenal of lacking loyalty, while he pledged to keep fighting for his place in the side until his contract expires next summer.
Gunners hero Smith admitted that while it’s unprecedented for a player earning £350,000-a-week to be completely frozen out, Ozil hasn’t been at the top of his game for the last few years.
‘It is sad, no doubt about it, because it is a wasted talent and has been for the last couple of years,’ Smith told Sky Sports.
‘He hasn’t reached the levels that he did four, five years back.
‘I can’t remember this happening before in football when somebody on so much money, the club’s highest earner, is ostracised and has no chance at all of playing for the first team.
‘He refused to take a wage cut, I hear he didn’t take part in team Zoom meetings, so Arteta’s perhaps feeling he’s not a team player.’