360 views | Peters Okwudili | October 8, 2020
Mesut Ozil will not be in Arsenal’s Europa League squad when it is announced on Thursday.
The 31-year-old has not played for the Gunners since March and his future at the club has been in doubt for some time, with boss Mikel Arteta recently saying it has been “very difficult” for Ozil to break back into the side.
Ozil is the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history and the fact he has been ostracised has been something of a mystery.
He played in every Premier League game under Arteta until the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic – and has not featured since.
Asked recently why the World Cup winner had fallen out of favour, Arteta replied: “The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving.
“This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.
“We need to keep maintaining that. I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.”
On Tuesday, Ozil offered to pay the full wages of Jerry Quy – the man inside Arsenal’s Gunnersaurus mascot costume – to save his job.
Quy has portrayed Gunnersaurus for the past 27 years, but was made redundant as part of the job-cutting scheme implemented by Arsenal in the summer.
Arsenal’s Europa League campaign will begin when they face Group B rivals Rapid Vienna in Austria on October 22 before matches against Dundalk and Molde.