‘I’m hurt’ – Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta refuses to close door on Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta embrace after Arsenal's Premier League clash with Manchester United
Mesut Ozil was left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has refused to rule out the possibility of Mesut Ozil working his way back into his plans and admits he’s ‘hurt’ by the ‘really sad’ situation the midfielder currently finds him in at Arsenal.

Ozil, 33, hasn’t made an appearance for the Gunners since way back in March, despite being their top earner on eye-watering wages of £350,000-a-week.

And after being left out of Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads, Ozil looks unlikely to play for the club again given his contract is due to expire at the end of the season.

Mesut Ozil runs with the ball at Arsenal's training ground
The playmaker has been training as normal at London Colney (Picture: Getty)

But Arteta has refused to close the door on the German, who he shared an Arsenal dressing room with for three years as a player.

‘I’m hurt because I don’t like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete, for me it is really sad because I don’t think anybody deserves that,’ Arteta told beIN SPORTS.

‘With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved.

‘I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won’t understand it.’

Asked about the possibility of Ozil returning to the fold, Arteta replied: ‘Well everybody can [find their way back into the side].

‘I think since I arrived here you see where some players have started and where they are right now, their careers are completely changed and they have earned that right.

‘We gave them the opportunities and they took them.

‘The moment that you lose football matches his name is going to come up and when you don’t it won’t.’

Mesut Ozil and William Saliba look on in Arsenal training
The German midfielder becomes a free agent at the end of the campaign (Picture: Getty)

The Spaniard added: ‘At the end of the day I’m sitting here to make decisions, to make the decisions that, in my opinion, are the best for the football club.

‘And this is what I have to do.’

Arsenal return to Premier League action away to Leeds on Sunday and Arteta’s men will be desperate to get back to winning ways following their 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa two weekends back.

Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac have been ruled out of the match after testing positive for Covid-19 and the club could also be without Thomas Partey (thigh) and Reiss Nelson (knee) at Elland Road.

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