Bernd Leno reveals how Mesut Ozil has responded to Mikel Arteta snub

Bernd Leno's Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta
Bernd Leno’s Arsenal teammate Mesut Ozil has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Bernd Leno has revealed that Mesut Ozil’s conduct remains impeccable despite his Arsenal career effectively having been ended by Mikel Arteta.

The club’s highest-paid player hasn’t featured in the first team in a competitive fixture since March and was excluded from Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League squads.

Despite Arsenal’s midfield crying out for the type of invention and creativity the 32-year-old once offered in abundance, Ozil will be unable to help Arteta’s side until January at the earliest and even then it would take a seismic U-turn from his former teammate to render that prospect a possibility.

While some senior players have been accused of destabilising the dressing room amid an almost unprecedented run of poor form, Leno maintains that Ozil has remained the ultimate professional and is still held in high regard by his colleagues.

‘That is of course a difficult question,’ he told Sky Germany when asked if Ozil’s return could benefit the team. 

Mikel Arteta maintains Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal's squad for footballing reasons
Mikel Arteta maintains Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s squad for footballing reasons (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s not even registered for the first half of the season, so he wouldn’t be an option until January, if at all. The trainer made that decision. 

‘Of course, Mesut has exceptional quality, there is no question about that. But the coach selected 25 other players, we have to accept that. 

‘He trains quite normally, he behaves professionally, and gets along well with everyone else. Mesut does not bring any negative energy into the group. Everything else is not in his or my hands either.’

Arteta had previously stated that Ozil’s absence was down to footballing reasons but more recently hinted he could look to reassess his decision come January.

He said: ‘He’s not in the squad right now. I’m focusing just on the players we have here,’ said Arteta.  ‘But, whatever happens in January, we have some time to decide.’

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