Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil has remained ‘professional’ and ‘loyal’ after Mikel Arteta snub, says Bernd Leno

Mesut Ozil and Bernd Leno chat during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Newcastle United
Mesut Ozil has been ‘absolutely loyal’ to Arsenal, insists Bernd Leno (Picture: Getty)

Bernd Leno has jumped to the defence of Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil and claims the midfielder has remained ‘absolutely professional’ and ‘loyal’ despite being left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads.

While Ozil, 33, is the Gunners’ top earner on eye-watering wages of £350,000-a-week, he hasn’t featured for the club since the beginning of March and appears unlikely to ever do so again.

Ozil accused Arsenal of lacking loyalty in an explosive Instagram post last month but stressed that he would consider fighting for his place until the day his contract expires next summer.

Mesut Ozil and William Saliba look on in Arsenal training
Ozil last played for the north London club back in March (Picture: Getty)

The German has been training as normal throughout his exile from the side and Arsenal goalkeeper Leno says his fellow countryman has behaved impeccably and remains a key part of the dressing room.

‘Mesut is still a part of the team and trains with us,’ Leno told German outlet BILD .

‘He is absolutely professional, both on the pitch and in the changing room.

‘Obviously it’s a disappointing situation for him but Mesut handles it well and is absolutely loyal.’

Mikel Arteta looks on during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Aston Villa
Arteta has repeatedly defended his treatment of Ozil (Picture: Getty)

In a recent interview with Sky Sports, Arsenal head coach Arteta insisted his treatment of Ozil had been ‘fair’ and that he had given the playmaker every chance to work his way back into the first-team.

‘What I can tell you that I tried my best, I tried to give him as many opportunities as I could,’ the Spaniard said.

‘And that from my own side, I’ve been patient, given him opportunities and been fair.

‘He’s a player that belongs to a football club, he’s been a really important player in the last few seasons.

‘I have to respect that, I’m here to make decisions, the best decisions for the team and for the club.

‘This is what I try to do and then I have to explain them because people need the reasons and the right answers.

‘I just give mine, whether they believe me or agree with me or not, there’s nothing I can do.

‘But I have to put my decisions, with my heart and with my brain to make the right decisions that I believe are good.’

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