Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil has hit back at critics following the revelation that he refused to take a 12.5% pay cut to his £350,000-a-week wages.
The 31-year-old remains the club's highest paid player, despite underperforming in recent years and even being dropped by the club's previous manager, Unai Emery.
And after it was revealed that the German national was one of the three players refusing to take a pay cut in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, he has come under fire from the likes of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, the latter calling the move a 'massive PR own goal'.
But when asked to respond to the criticism, Ozil was flummoxed as to why he should take a pay cut now:
"It doesn't make sense. I haven't deserved this wage for years, maybe two or three, yet people are only asking me to take a pay cut now.
"What, just because we're not playing at the moment? The club were more than happy paying me £350,000 a week to sit on the bench or wander aimlessly around the pitch for 90 minutes when the season was ongoing; what's the difference? As far as I'm concerned, I'm still doing the same job I was doing before, so I deserve the same salary, no?
"If you want to cut somebody's wages, go see Pierre-Emerick [Aubameyang]; he's doing way less for the club than he was a few weeks ago."
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