Mikel Arteta claims that he tried his best to give Mesut Ozil opportunities in the first team at Arsenal.
Ozil’s fortunes at the Emirates Stadium have taken a turn for the worse in recent months. He did not feature at all after lockdown last season, and has been left out completely of their Premier League squad list this season.
With his contract expiring in June 2021, it appears Ozil is nearing the end of his lengthy stay in north London.
He would not have wanted it to end in such circumstances, having released a lengthy statement bemoaning how his situation at the club has changed.
His agent has also claimed that his teammates are shocked at Arteta’s treatment of him. But now, the Arsenal manager has given his version of events.
“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.”
Gundogan sorry to see Ozil struggling
Meanwhile, Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it is a “pity” that Mesut Ozil has been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the season.
Gundogan, who plays with Ozil for the German national team, 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.
“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.”