Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said that the decision to freeze Mesut Ozil out of the squad is part of a “strategy” agreed to by the club’s hierarchy.
The former Germany international has not featured in the last five matchday squads, with Emery offering little explanation as to his surprise decision to ostracise the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
Ozil has posted a number of cryptic social media messages and insisted recently that he wants to stay at the club and will work hard to regain his place.
There has also been a groundswell of support for the 31-year-old from Gunners’ fans who have grown weary with a perceived lack of creativity within the team.
Emery has played five different players in Ozil‘s preferred number 10 role over the last two games – a 1-0 loss at Sheffield United and a fortunate 3-2 Europa League victory over Vitoria – while the former Real Madrid man has been sat at home.
But the Spaniard has revealed talks with those high up in the club saw an agreement reached that dropping Ozil was the right move.
“Here, we have one agreed strategy as a club and as a team,” he said, when asked if there was any pressure from above to put Ozil back into the team.
“Because the most important thing is the club, the team and finding a performance. Previously we were all speaking between us to take that decision.
“I know all the supporters want to know something but now is not the moment. I think it is not the moment to speak about him.
“We are going to play on Sunday and in the next matches and we are going to decide, and when we can speak about him something differently we will look.”
Ozil has played just 142 minutes of football for the Gunners so far this season.