Soccer

Mikel Arteta ‘hurt and sad’ over Mesut Ozil Arsenal axe as he explains decision

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists he is “hurt and sad” about the decision to omit Mesut Ozil from his Premier League and Europa League squads this season.

Ozil was sensationally snubbed by Arteta last month, meaning he will be unable to play for the Gunners at least until the second half of the campaign.

The German, who remains Arsenal’s highest earner on a staggering £350,000 per week, is now expected to move on when the transfer window reopens in January.

And Arteta admits he feels bad about leaving Ozil out of his squads this term, while stressing that he has been “as clear as possible” with the player.

“I’m hurt because I don't like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete,” he told beIN Sports.

“For me it is really sad because I don't think anybody deserves that.

“With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved.

“I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won't understand it.”

The writing appears to be on the wall for Ozil, who looks likely to leave Arsenal in January or when his eye-watering contract comes to an end next summer.

However, Arteta has opened the door for the Gunners outcast to work his way back into his side at the turn of the year.

“Well everybody can [find their way back into the team],” he said.

“And I think since I arrived here you see where some players have started and where they are right now, their careers are completely changed and they have earned that right.

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“We gave them the opportunities and they took them.”

Ozil has spent seven years at Arsenal since joining from Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 254 games and winning three FA Cups.

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