Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists Mesut Ozil’s omission from both his Premier League and Europa League squads this season was made for football reasons.

The German has been frozen out by Arteta, having not featured for Arsenal since their 1-0 victory against West Ham in March, while he has yet to make any of the matchday squads this season.

Reacting to his Premier League omission by releasing a statement via social media, Ozil blasted the Gunners for a lack of ‘loyalty’ and that he was ‘saddened’ by his exclusion from the squad.

Mikel Arteta has insisted Mesut Ozil's omission from his Arsenal squads is for football reasons

Mikel Arteta has insisted Mesut Ozil’s omission from his Arsenal squads is for football reasons

Arteta has left the 32-year-old German out of his Premier League and Europa League squads

Arteta has left the 32-year-old German out of his Premier League and Europa League squads

But speaking to the press ahead of the Gunners’ Europa League group-stage opener against Rapid Vienna, Arteta insisted a ‘football decision’ is the only motive behind the omission of the £350,000-a-week-star, who is still the club’s highest earner. 

‘Everybody is free to express his feeling,’ Arteta said.

‘That’s just a football decision that my conscious is really calm. I’ve been really fair with him, my level of communication with him has been really high.

‘When I believe that he could contribute to the team being better – which is why I was hired to this football club to become the manager to win football matches, competition and create and build a project for the short, medium and long term – he has had the opportunities like everybody else.

Reacting to the decision, Ozil blasted Arsenal for showing a lack of 'loyalty' towards him

Reacting to the decision, Ozil blasted Arsenal for showing a lack of ‘loyalty’ towards him

The playmaker has not played for the Gunners since a 1-0 victory against West Ham in March

 The playmaker has not played for the Gunners since a 1-0 victory against West Ham in March

‘I am sad that I have to leave three players out of this list which is never pleasant. I have to say that I try to look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it. With Mesut I have this feeling because I was being very straightforward since I arrived at this club.’

Ozil has failed to live up to expectation since signing a new three-and-a-half year deal at Emirates Stadium in January 2018.

However, the former Germany international was initially a regular under Arteta after the Spaniard succeeded Unai Emery as Gunners boss in December last year, before being left out altogether.

But Arteta has insisted he takes the full blame for the German’s drop-off in performances. 

Ozil is still the club's highest-earner, with the German on wages of £350,000-per-week

Ozil is still the club’s highest-earner, with the German on wages of £350,000-per-week

‘My job is to get the best out of every player to contribute to the team performance. Here I feel at the moment today that I want the best possible Mesut for the team.

‘In some moments I was able to get close to that, at the moment I haven’t been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out of the squad.

‘Honestly I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It’s my responsibility. It’s nothing relating to any behaviour or, like I read, the paycuts. It’s not true.

‘It’s my decision. If someone has to blame me – and it will happen when we lose football matches – my responsibility. I have to make the decisions to get the best possible squad in order to win football matches and competitions as often as we can.

‘In order to do that I try to be fair with him and any other players and defend as much as possible the interests of the football club.’ 

In a statement following his exclusion from Arsenal’s Premier League squad, Ozil, 32, said: ‘This is a difficult message to write to the @Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years.

However, Arteta has admitted he takes full responsibility for Ozil's underwhelming displays

However, Arteta has admitted he takes full responsibility for Ozil’s underwhelming displays

‘I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the @PremierLeague season for the time being.

‘Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated. As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays.

‘I’ve always tried to remain positive from week to week that there’s maybe a chance to get back in the squad soon again. That’s why I kept silent so far.’

‘No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.’

His former Gunners team-mate Jack Wilshere has come to his defence over his exclusion from the squads, claiming he is the club's best player

His former Gunners team-mate Jack Wilshere has come to his defence over his exclusion from the squads, claiming he is the club’s best player

Ozil has since received support from former Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere and some sections of the fan base, while former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger – who brought him to the club for £42.5million in 2013 from Real Madrid – recently claimed Arteta was ‘wasting’ his talent by leaving him on the bench.

Sportsmail reported last week that Arsenal were to re-open talks with Ozil ahead of the January transfer window over ending his £350,000-a-week contract early.

The Gunners, it is understood, have approached Ozil about reaching a settlement agreement for the final nine months of his contract but the attempts proved unsuccessful.

He is said to want virtually all the remaining £13million on his deal.

source: dailymail.co.uk

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