Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have been left out of the Arsenal squad for the group stage of the Europa League group.
Ozil, who is Arsenal’s highest-earner pockets £350,000 ($454,000) a week has not played a single minute since football’s restart in June following the coronavirus enforced suspension
His removal from the team continues as Mikel Arteta named his 25-man squad for the competition that also allows the inclusion of 17 ‘non locally trained players’.
With 19 to choose from, Arteta dropped Sokratis and the German as they currently not in his plan.
It is perhaps no surprise to see him axed from the squad but the fact that he is the club’s highest earner still makes his omission eye-catching.
Arteta could have use the group stages of the Europa League as an opportunity to give some game time to players who have been on the fringe in the Premier League.
No return of Ozil for Arsenal yet
This development is happening just a day after Ozil publicly stated he would be willing to pay the wages of Jerry Quy, the man who has played the role of Gunnersaurus – the Arsenal mascot – for the past 27 years.
The mascot hs been made redundant due to the pandemic as games are being played behind closed doors.
Ozil, who took to social media to make the offer after it emerged that Quy had been made redundant wrote: “I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years.
“As such, I’m offering to reimburse Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much.”
Ozil’s last played for Arsenal came in the win against West Ham in March, which was the final match before football action was suspended due to the pandemic.
Despite being involved in four competitions still, Arsenal has not included Ozil in a matchday squad this season.
Speaking on the playmaker’s absence after the 2-0 win at Leicester last month, Aretata said the team keeps improving and evolving more.
“The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving. This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.
“You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it’s very difficult every week not just for Mesut but for some other players as well to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.
“It’s difficult for others as well that aren’t involved in the Premier League and didn’t play tonight either. We have a squad of 26, 27 players at the moment and we can’t give playing time to all of them.
“I understand and I respect your questions but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible. I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition.”
UEFA will today officially announce Arsenal’s 25-man squad for the Europa League group stages.