Mikel Arteta clarifies Mesut Ozil stance admitting he is “hurt” by situation at Arsenal
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Mikel Arteta says he is "hurt" by Mesut Ozil's exile from first-team affairs while suggesting the midfielder has not "earned the right" to play under him for Arsenal.
The German playmaker has been cast aside by Arteta with little over six months remaining on his contract.
Ozil is not part of the Gunners' 25-man squad for either the Premier League or Europa League, and looks unlikely to pull on an Arsenal shirt again before his deal expires in June.
Despite struggling to make an impact for Arsenal in recent seasons, opinion is still split on whether Arteta should bring Ozil back into the fold amid a lack of creativity in their recent performances.
But Arteta insists he is only doing what he feels is right.
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"I'm hurt because I don't like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate, or to compete, for me it is really sad because I don't think anybody deserves that," Arteta told beIN Sports .
"But at the end of the day I'm sitting here to make decisions, to make the decisions that, in my opinion, are the best for the football club. And this is what I have to do."
Ozil remains a favourite among sections of the Arsenal fanbase, with his latest PR stunt to help bring back the club's mascot Gunnersaurus gaining further support.
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New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.
The Mesut Ozil situation continues to hang in the background and there's plenty going on in North London to keep abreast of.
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He has not made a single appearance under Arteta this season though – last featuring in March – and his boss seemingly has no plans to make a U-turn on his decision, even if results continue to suffer.
"The moment that you lose football matches his name is going to come up and when you win, it won't," Arteta added.
Ozil, 31, has sat tight at Arsenal, refusing to seek out a transfer in the summer in a bid to fight for his future in north London.
By way of response, Arteta sat Ozil down to inform him he would not be involved in the major competitions until at least January.
What should Arsenal do with Ozil now? Have your say below.
Ozil has been frozen out and looks to have played his last game for the club
(Image: Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
It appears there is no way back for him under Arteta's watch though, with Ozil now training on his own.
Asked if there would be another chance for Ozil, Arteta replied: "Well everybody can 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. We gave them the opportunities and they took them.
"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 all the media and fans because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won't understand it because of what he has done for the club."