Arteta hints at ‘uncomfortable’ situation over axed Arsenal duo

Date published: Monday 20th July 2020 6:57 - Jonny Whitfield

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has hinted that both Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi may have a future at the club after their recent spell of absences.

While Guendouzi continues to be left out after his antics in the defeat at Brighton last month, Ozil has yet to kick a ball since the season resumed.

Arteta has given short shrift to any questions asked about a potential return for the pair, with neither being named in any of the past seven matchday squads.

Guendouzi is reportedly training alone following his bust-up with Brighton’s Neal Maupay, with his temperament believed to be a concern to Arteta, who has likewise left Ozil – the club’s highest-earner – on the sidelines for the past 10 games.

Arteta was pushed on whether Ozil and Guendouzi could return after describing Granit Xhaka’s recovery as the perfect example of redemption.

The 38-year-old hinted, though, that the current situation with Ozil and Guendouzi has not been resolved.

He said: “That [finding a way back into the team] applies for any player and any member of the staff. All players know this.

Mesut-Ozil-Arsenal

“If you show that, that you decide to do the best not only for yourself but for the team and for the club, I think everyone will welcome you.

“It’s not just me that needs to give the green light, it’s everybody that has to be supportive. You need to feel that support from everybody because otherwise it’s a very uncomfortable situation.”

Xhaka was booed off against Crystal Palace in October before being stripped of the captaincy. Skip forward to Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Manchester City and the midfielder put in a crucial performance.

ARTETA’S MESSAGE FOR AUBAMEYANG

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal TEAMtalk

Equally important for Arsenal against City was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who struck twice to secure a record 21st FA Cup final appearance for Arsenal.

Aubameyang is another player whose future at the Emirates Stadium remains unclear, as his current contract expires next summer.

Speaking after the semi-final win, Arteta said he hoped such victories could convince his captain to sign a new deal and now he is keen for that agreement to come sooner rather than later.

“When I was talking about the uncertainty we have on the table, obviously he is one of them,” added Arteta.

“There is another one of obviously where we are going to finish and whether we play in Europe or not which is going to have an impact and all the situations with the market and how it is going to develop.

“With Auba, I think I have been very clear what I want – the quicker we do it, for me personally, the better because the player will be more focused, more determined and more calm but we have to respect the timings as well and the needs the football club has.”

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