When pictures showing when Mesut Ozil was training with Arsenal’s squad ahead of the club’s Carabao Cup third-round tie against Leicester City on Wednesday started flying on the internet, most football fans thought Mikel Arteta, the manager of the club has accepted him back fully. To the dismay of many, Ozil did not feature in the match as usual.
Recall that the 31-year-old German midfielder last played for Arsenal on March 7, 2020. Since then, he has been left out of the scheme of things at the club. Most times, he is not listed in matchday’s squad while he is left on the bench whenever he makes the squad.
It is suspected that apart from his nonchalant attitude whenever he is not on the ball, the fact that he has been a torn on the flesh of Arsenal‘s management made him an unwanted playmaker at the club. This was evident when Ozil refused to accept a pay-cut prior to the return of football in England.
The former Germany international has been active in off-the-pitch politics which mostly is not in line with Arsenal’s business interest. For instance, speaking against the treatment of Uighurs’ Muslims in China.
Such non-footballing activities have taken the best off his shine and could force him out of the club at the end of his contract in June 2021 without much prestige.
More so, when one compares today’s Ozil and what most Arsenal’s fans think of him to the Ozil that left Real Madrid for Arsenal in 2013 and the way Arsenal’s fans celebrated the signing, one would see that the German footballer has become a shadow of himself.
No room for Mesut Ozil in present-day Arsenal
Unfortunately for Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta is not ready to give him the room to prove to Arsenal’s fans that he is still the Ozil they celebrated his signing in 2013. Arteta has continued to make the playmaker looks like a valueless property of the club despite being the club’s highest-paid (£350, 000-per-week reportedly).
So, Mikel Arteta has made it clear that Ozil may not have a part to play in his revolution at Arsenal. Unfortunately for the German football star, Arsenal is doing well without him which has given credence to how Arteta has been treating him.
“This is where we are at the moment”, Mikel Arteta said after Arsenal’s 0-2 win over Leicester on Wednesday. “We want to evolve more and play better and compete better. We need to keep maintaining that.
“I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.
“We are picking the players that we believe are the best for each game. You can see we keep training, it’s what we’re trying to do.
“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.
“Of course 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.”