Mesut Ozil said Thursday he was “deeply disappointed” to be axed from Arsenal’s Premier League squad amid speculation he has played his last game for the London club.
The 32-year-old is the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history on a reported $650,000 a week, but was not deemed to be in the best 25 players at the club.
Ozil has not played a single minute for Mikel Arteta’s side since March 7.
The FIFA World Cup winner has also been omitted from the Gunners’ Europa League squad.
Alongside Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos — also left out of both squads — Ozil will only be able to represent Arsenal Under-23s until 2021 at the earliest.
“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years,” said Ozil in a statement posted on social media.
“I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League season for the time being.”
Mesut Ozil and his wife.Source:Instagram
Former Germany international Ozil went on to question Arsenal’s loyalty having signed his current deal, which expires next year, in January 2018 — the same time Alexis Sanchez left the Gunners for Manchester United.
“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,” said Ozil.
“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.”
Arsenal’s decision sparked a wave of outcry on social media – some for the player and some against.
Media identity and Arsenal tragic Piers Morgan took the club’s side. “If Ozil really wanted to play, he’d have left the club. He wants to bank the millions, sit on his backside and play the victim. Pathetic,” he tweeted.
But ex-player turned pundit Gary Lineker took Ozil at his word.
“Every footballer wants to play. Not being able to, regardless of salary, is soul destroying,” he tweeted.
“You don’t know the inside story. There are always two sides and clubs will spin things. You can’t just leave and play for someone else when you have a contract. Doesn’t work like that.”
Mesut Ozil sits in the stands under an umbrella during a match last season. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
“Spot on Gary,” replied ex-Arsenal player Jack Wilshere to Lineker’s tweet. “Especially when you are the best player!”
This month saw Ozil offer to pay the salary of Arsenal’s popular mascot Gunnersaurus after Jerry Quy, who has played the role of the dinosaur since 1993, was let go by the club with stadiums empty during the coronavirus crisis.
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