Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski says it is “not okay” that Mesut Ozil has been left out of their squad and thinks they will miss his “class”.
The midfielder has been at Arsenal since 2013, but has been struggling to recapture his best form in recent years. He has not featured for the club since March, and will not again until January at the earliest.
Arsenal left Ozil out of their squad lists for the Premier League and Europa League, meaning he cannot play in either competition.
The German international released a statement criticising the decision to leave him out, but has continued to show his support for the club online. However, with his contract expiring next year, it seems he is coming to the end of his association with Arsenal.
Now, Podolski – Ozil’s former teammate for club and country – has also hit out at the decision to snub him.
“I want to know the background,” he told BILD (via Sport Witness). “But I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad – that’s not okay.
“You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not, but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.
“I don’t know, of course, if there is something going on in the background or not but even if there is something like that you don’t do it, mainly so you can keep his class on the pitch.”
Arteta explains Ozil snub
“What I can tell you that I tried my best, I tried to give him as many opportunities as I could,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“And that from my own side, I’ve been patient, given him opportunities and been fair.
“He’s a player that belongs to a football club, he’s been a really important player in the last few seasons. I have to respect that, I’m here to make decisions, the best decisions for the team and for the club.
“This is what I try to do and then I have to explain them because people need the reasons and the right answers. I just give mine, whether they believe me or agree with me or not, there’s nothing I can do.
“But I have to put my decisions, with my heart and with my brain to make the right decisions that I believe are good.”