Having been left out of the squad for both the Premier League and the Europa League this season, Mesut Ozil has broken his silence to address the Arsenal supporters.
The German attacking midfielder signed a new contract in 2018, set to keep him at the club until the summer of 2021 on £350,000 per week in wages, and he has hardly justified the faith he was shown since then. He had issues with Unai Emery who indicated on more than one occasion that Ozil didn’t fit his tactical ideas, and the troubles continued under Mikel Arteta. Upon his arrival, the former Manchester City assistant manager initially reinstated the 31-year-old’s role in the team, but it all changed after the long break in football caused by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Ozil hasn’t played a competitive game for Arsenal since, and the team has been looking very good without his help.
However, Ozil obviously feels wronged by being left out of the squad, believing he has shown loyalty to the club he loves and its supporters.
“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years,” he wrote via his Instagram account.
“I’m really deeply disappointed by the fact that I have not been registered for the Premier League 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. Before the Coronavirus break I was really happy with the development under our new coach Mikel Arteta – we’ve been on a positive way and I would say my performances were on a really good level.”
“But then things changed, again, and I was not longer allowed to play football for Arsenal. What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club. 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.”
In truth, Ozil obviously has no place in Arteta’s plans and it probably would have been better had he left during the summer. Instead, he made his intention of seeing out his lucrative contract at the club very clear. If he had hoped his continued presence would force Arteta to find a role for him, it seems he was mistaken.