The ex-Gunners striker is “gutted” with how the German’s career at Emirates Stadium has turned out, but fully understands the current manager’s stance
Arsenal legend Ian Wright says he admires Mikel Arteta for “sticking to his guns” over Mesut Ozil.
Ozil’s future at Arsenal has been the subject of much speculation in recent months. The ex-Germany international hasn’t played for the Gunners since March and was not included in the club’s Europa League and Premier League squads for the 2020-21 campaign.
The 32-year-old’s £350,000-per week contract is due to expire next summer, with there little sign of an extension being offered to a midfielder who is now making more headlines for his actions off the pitch than on it.
Ozil accused Arsenal of a lack of “loyalty” after being omitted from Arteta’s 25-man group in the English top-flight, but promised to keep fighting for a place before posting his thoughts on social media during the Europa League win at Rapid Vienna and 1-0 defeat to Leicester on Sunday.
Arteta responded to the playmaker’s tweets after watching his team win in Austria, telling reporters: “It’s great. It’s what I want from all the players that are in our squad, I wouldn’t expect anything different – so it’s good to hear.”
Wright cannot see Ozil playing for the Gunners again, and although he remains a keen admirer of the German, he understands that the stance Arteta has taken is for the good of the team.
“It’s a shame,” the ex-Arsenal striker told Premier League Productions. “From a professional point of view, I’m gutted for Ozil because for some reason they can’t settle their differences.
“At the same time, you’ve got to admire the manager sticking to his guns. He’s the one that’s said ‘Listen: This is my decision’.
“For whatever reason, he doesn’t want to play Mesut. It’s a shame because he’s a quality player. Sometimes it just happens like that. Unfortunately for Mesut as a professional he wants to play football it won’t happen here.
“From what Mikel is trying to do Arsenal fans have to concentrate on now, it’s all about the team and the progression of the team.”
Arsenal dropped to 10th in the Premier League standings after losing at home to Leicester and will now look ahead to a Europa League clash with Dundalk on Thursday, three days before they take in a crucial trip to Manchester United.