Mesut Ozil left off Arsenal's Europa League squad list by manager Mikel Arteta in latest snub

Ozil hasn't played for Arsenal since football restarted in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving his future at the club in question.

The Associated Press October 08, 2020 21:26:21 IST
Mesut Ozil left off Arsenal's Europa League squad list by manager Mikel Arteta in latest snub

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (centre) shelters from the sunshine beneath an umbrella during their English Premier League match against Southampton. AFP

London: Mesut Ozil's ostracisation at Arsenal went to a new level on Thursday when he was left off the team's Europa League squad list for this season.

The 31-year-old Ozil hasn't played for Arsenal since football restarted in June amid the coronavirus pandemic, leaving his future at the club in question.

Before lockdown in March, the former Germany playmaker had featured in every Premier League match under Mikel Arteta after the coach joined Arsenal in December.

Arsenal begin their Europa League group campaign on 22 October. Arteta is likely to field some reserve players in the competition — especially in the group stage — to keep his top players fresh for the Premier League, yet still there is no room for Ozil.

Asked recently why Ozil — one of the club's highest-paid players, reportedly at more than $20 million a year — was out of favour, Arteta said: “The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving."

“This is where we are at the moment," Arteta added. "We want to evolve more and play better and compete better. We need to keep maintaining that."

Ozil offered this week to pay the full salary of the man who works as the team's dinosaur mascot, Gunnersaurus. The fluffy green mascot has been absent from the Emirates Stadium for matches since March because no fans are allowed into games under coronavirus restrictions.

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