Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it is a “pity” that Mesut Ozil has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the season.
Ozil has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium in recent years. Despite being the club’s highest earner, he has struggled to find a place in Mikel Arteta’s system.
Therefore, the club decided to leave him out of their squad list for the Premier League and Europa League this season. He will not be able to play until January at the earliest, and is unlikely to have a long-term future at the club beyond the expiration of his contract in June 2021.
Ozil has given Arsenal seven years of service, which has made it hard for some to see his downfall – including himself. Another such person is Gundogan, who plays with Ozil for the German national team.
The Man City star admits it is a “difficult” situation and that neither club nor player deserve to have reached this point.
“I can imagine it is not an easy time for him and I think that he always tries to make best out of the situation, but it is course a pity for him, Arsenal and German football.
“The situation has happened how it happened, and I think all parties do not really deserve it, but a string of certain circumstances led to this being the case. I also get that we have to make an evaluation.
“What I wish, of course, is him to be in good health and have the necessary happiness that a person needs in such a phase.”
Gundogan hopes Ozil shines again
Gundogan continued: “Hopefully then soon he can shine again with his performances on the field. I can imagine how disappointing this situation is because I have experienced it myself.
“I think it is not an easy experience, especially for him, but I think he is still in focus and has to continue to be busy and be strengthened. I wish him that.”
Ozil has not played for Arsenal since lockdown began in March. The 32-year-old featured just 18 times in the Premier League last season, after struggling under both Arteta and his predecessor Unai Emery.
In contrast, Gundogan has got his own career back on track after some injury problems in recent years. Last year, the former Borussia Dortmund star played in 31 league games for City and scored two goals.