Mikel Arteta provides blunt response when asked if Mesut Ozil will play again for Arsenal

Mesut Ozil hasn't made a single appearance since the Premier League resumed last month
Mesut Ozil hasn’t made a single appearance since the Premier League resumed last month (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has refused to rule out the possibility that Mesut Ozil has already played his last game for Arsenal.

The Germany international, a former team-mate of his current manager, has failed to make a single appearance since the Premier League resumed in June following a three-month break.

In his absence, Arsenal have steadily improved under their new manager who has masterminded victories over Liverpool and Manchester City over the course of the last week.

Ozil has 18 months remaining on his £350,000-a-week contract and reportedly has no intention of seeking a move from the north London club, despite having been frozen out.

The 31-year-old, who is said to have turned down a move to Fenebahce, is training with the rest of the first team squad ahead of Wednesday’s match against Aston Villa but Arteta stopped short of confirming the Arsenal’s top earner would represent the club against.

‘I don’t know,’ said the Gunners boss when asked if Ozil would play for Arsenal again. ‘He’s training with the team and he’s available for selection so we will make the decision on a daily basis.’

When asked to clarify whether Ozil will play again, Arteta replied: “No because I have to select him and I have 24 players in this squad and at the moment he is not being selected but we will see what happens for he next game.

Asked if expects to select him again, the boss replied: ‘He has the same chances as everybody else.’

Matteo Guendouzi has also fallen foul of Arteta and his new hardline regime. The France international has not played since his antics during last month’s defeat at Brighton but on Monday, the former Everton midfielder claimed both players should look to Granit Xhaka as a source of inspiration with the 27-year-old not an integral part of Arsenal midfield just six months after he was considering a move to Hertha Berlin.

Granit Xhaa has turned his Arsenal career around under Mikel Arteta
Granit Xhaa has turned his Arsenal career around under Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

‘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 at his pre-match press conference.

‘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.

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.’

MORE: Pep Guardiola: ‘I have all the respect for Arsenal on the pitch – but not much off it’

MORE: Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil rejects transfer offer from Fenerbahce

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