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Mikel Arteta understands Mesut Ozil’s ‘hurt and disappointed’ at being dropped

The German World Cup winner has yet to play a minute of football for the Gunners since the season resumed

01 July, 2020 — By Steve Barnett

Mesut Ozil still ‘a very special player’

MIKEL Arteta has admitted that “special player” Mesut Ozil is “not very happy” at being left out of Arsenal’s end of season run-in.

Ozil has yet to play a minute of football for the Gunners since the campaign resumed, with Arteta citing injury and “tactical decisions” for not picking the playmaker.

The Arsenal boss has stressed he only ever picks his starting XI on footballing merit.

And so far, it seems, Ozil’s club-record £350,000-a-week wages doesn’t mean the German World Cup winner has earned a place in the team. He was left out again on Wednesday when the Gunners beat Norwich 4-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

“I believe that he’s not very happy because he’s not playing,” said Arteta. “But, as well, he picked up an injury the other day and we have to wait and see how he evolves.

“I’m expecting a player that is not playing to feel hurt and disappointed.

“I want all my players at their best, and I want to have the ability to be able to pick them to help the squad as much as possible. That’s the only intention I have.”

Arteta played alongside Ozil at the Emirates for three years under Arsene Wenger. The Spaniard therefore knows only too well what Ozil brings to the pitch.

Arteta added: “Mesut has unique qualities. He is a very special player for the position he plays, how specific he is in the qualities that he has and what he can bring to the team. I don’t think much has changed.

“Obviously he adapted to the league and he needed some time but he started to perform pretty quickly. He has established himself in this league for a long time, something that is not easy to do.”

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has extended his loan spell at Roma until the end of the current season.

The Serie A side have also said a preliminary agreement has been reached for the Arsenal midfielder to remain with them for the 2020-21 campaign, too.

Mkhitaryan has scored six goals and provided four assists in 19 games since joining Roma last September.

The 31-year-old said: “I’m happy to extend my stay here, because I still have things that I haven’t achieved yet that I want to achieve. I’m looking forward to it.”

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