Mikel Arteta hints at shock lifeline for Arsenal outcasts Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi

Arsenal Training Session
Guendouzi and Ozil have been frozen out (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has hinted he would be prepared to welcome Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi back into the first-team fold.

The Arsenal duo have been shunned by the head coach, with Guendouzi even banished to train by himself following his bust-up with Neal Maupay during the defeat to Brighton last month.

Ozil has not played a single minute since the restart and on social media appeared to contradict Arsenal’s claims he is unfit to play before their game against Manchester City.

Granit Xhaka’s career at Arsenal appeared to be over in November when he had the captaincy stripped from him following a nasty run-in with fans.

The Swiss international has re-established himself under Arteta and the Gunners boss heaped praise on Xhaka for proving there is always a way back.

‘The challenge with Granit was to convince him that there was still a place for him here – that I had big belief in him and that things can turn around pretty quickly in this industry,’ Arteta said ahead of Arsenal’s game against Aston Villa.

‘He had to send the right messages. First of all, he had to believe that he could do it and if that was the case, we were going to support him all the way through.

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Ozil has not played since the restart (Picture: Getty)

‘I’m really glad to hear and sense the reaction from the fans towards him, I think they can appreciate what he’s done. That’s in the past, there’s a lot of positives to take from difficult situations and we all learn from that.

‘He’s a really good example for any player that is in a difficult moment that if you are willing, consistent and really want to do it generally, I think there’s always a way back.’

Asked if Xhaka’s case could be a blueprint for Ozil and Guendouzi, Arteta said: ‘That applies for any player, and any member of the staff.

‘If you really show that then you’re deciding to do the best, not for yourself, but for the team and for the club, I think everybody will welcome you.

‘It’s not just me that has to give the green light. It’s everybody that has to be supportive and you need to feel as well that support from everybody because if not it’s a very uncomfortable situation.’

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