Mesut Ozil has penned a frustrated statement to Arsenal supporters after being left out of the club’s 25-man squad for the Premier League. Having also been snubbed from the Gunners’ Europa League squad, it means Ozil may have already played his final match for the club.
Taking to social media to address the situation publicly, the 32-year-old playmaker hit out at manager Mikel Arteta and Arsenal for not showing him any loyalty.
Ozil – the club’s highest-paid player of all time on £350,000 a week – has not played for the north London outfit since March and has found himself in exile since the Premier League restarted in June.
He had previously played in every top-flight match since Arteta’s appointment last December.
Ozil is into the final year of his contract and is set to leave on a free transfer next summer, though Arsenal could look to broker a deal with the World Cup winner to terminate his deal early in January.
Reports have claimed that Arsenal have already tried to call time on Ozil’s time at the club but that a deal could not be agreed with the former Germany international to cut ties.
And the player is deeply upset at the news of his Premier League and Europa League snubs, which mean he will not have the chance to play competitive football until January.
“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve not played for over the past few years,” he said.
“I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I’ve not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being.
“Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.
“As I just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays. I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.
“Before the coronavirus break, I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta. We’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level.
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“But then things changed, again, and I was no longer allowed to play football for Arsenal.
“What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club.
“No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my eighth season at Arsenal end like this. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindest.
“I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”
Ozil’s former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – the man to hand him his club-record salary with a new deal in January 2018 – feels the No 10’s talents are being wasted.
“I don’t know what’s happening on a daily basis,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“I just say one thing, the creative players are the players who are perfectionists and they are a bit more sensitive sometimes and they need to be encouraged.
“Because if I want to play a risky pass I need to be confident and creative players they create this pass that makes the team dangerous.
“Mesut Ozil is an exceptional football player. What’s happening at the moment between him and the club looks to be more confrontational, it’s not [only] based on sport, I’m convinced.
“This guy has won things. He’s a world champion, he’s an exceptional football player.”
Former Arsenal attacker Alan Smith, who works as a pundit for Sky Sports, similarly said: “It’s sad, there’s no doubt about it because it’s a wasted talent and has been for the last couple of years.
“He hasn’t reached the levels that he did, four or five years back. I can’t remember a time in football when someone on so much money has been ostracised like this and has no chance at all of playing for the first team.
“But Mikel Arteta has made his choice and obviously knows things that we don’t. He’s looked at the player day in, day out.
“It might be down to his attitude during lockdown when he refused to take a wage cut, and he didn’t take part in team Zoom meetings so perhaps Arteta feels he’s not a team player.
“The irony is that Arsenal do need a player of that ilk at the moment, someone of Ozil’s creative force.
“Somebody who can unlock defences as they’ve faced a couple of those challenges recently against West Ham and Sheffield United and it was difficult for them.
“I’m sure Arteta would’ve liked to have had the Ozil of four or five years back available.
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Published at Wed, 21 Oct 2020 11:38:00 +0000