Per Mertesacker blames Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal demise on family commitments

Arsenal Training Session
Mesut Ozil has not played a single minute for Arsenal yet this season (Picture: Getty Images)

Per Mertesacker believes Mesut Ozil has lost focus at Arsenal due to family commitments, which is why he finds himself ostracised at the club.

Ozil has not played a single minute for Arsenal so far this season, in fact he has not even appeared on the substitute’s bench in any competition.

The 32-year-old is into the last year of his contract at the Emirates, with the club unable to sell him over the summer and shed his vast £350,000-a-week wages.

The former Real Madrid man has been left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad and could even be cut from their 25-man Premier League squad, which will be confirmed on 20 October.

Mertesacker, who is manager of the Arsenal Academy and a compatriot of Ozil, believes that his family circumstances could be behind the sad end to his Arsenal career.

The former centre-back insists Ozil is still willing and able to play, but his focus is elsewhere.

‘A lot has changed away from the field,’ Mertesacker told the Klick and Rush podcast. ‘He got married, has a family. Perhaps his focus has changed. Nevertheless, he is still happy and happy to play football.

‘He’s the only player I’ve played with for three teams – Bremen, Arsenal and also at the DFB [Germany national team].

‘So I’m very sorry that he’s currently in a situation where he’s not really used.’

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has repeatedly claimed that he wants to work with Ozil and get the best out of every player in his squad, even when he told the German and Sokratis that they had been left out of the Europa League squad.

‘I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had,’ said Arteta. ‘It was really difficult to tell them that, but these are the restrictions and the rules.

‘We have to respect that decision and try to train in the best possible way to help the team in that moment and see what happens in December.’

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-MAN UTD
Mikel Arteta showed faith in Mesut Ozil last season, but not this (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has ruled out Ozil ever playing for the club again, dismissing him as a thing of the past.

‘Mesut Ozil is yesterday’s news at the club,’ Campbell wrote for GentingBet.

‘There is no chance that he will feature for Arsenal again this season, or ever again.

‘There have been certain things that have gone on, instances where he has gone against the club, so I don’t see where there is any room for him to come back.’

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