Is it all over for Ozil at Arsenal?
Playmaker is excluded from Gunners’ Europa League squad, and could be dropped from Mikel Arteta’s Premier League line-up
09 October, 2020 — By Steve Barnett
World Cup winner Mesut Ozil – the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history – hasn’t played for the Gunners since a 1-0 home win against West Ham back in March
MESUT Ozil looks to have played his last game for Arsenal after being left out of their Europa League squad for the coming campaign.
Centre-backs Sokratis and William Saliba were also excluded from the 25-man list that the club registered with Uefa yesterday (Thursday).
And the Gunners look set to add insult to injury by dropping Ozil and Sokratis from their first-team squad in the Premier League, too, when they submit their final line-up on October 20.
The rules for both competitions dictate that there can be no more than 17 non-homegrown players in a squad, and following the deadline day arrival of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid, Arsenal now have 19 such players in their ranks.
It means that despite being the highest-paid player in the club’s history with reported wages of £350,000-a-week, Ozil won’t even warm the bench this season.
The World Cup winner, who has eight months left on his current contract, hasn’t played for the Gunners since a 1-0 home win against West Ham back in March.
With that in mind, it might not seem all that surprising if the 31-year-old playmaker is frozen out. But, still, the decision to confirm once and for all that Ozil’s time at the club is over would be a landmark moment for both Arsenal and boss Mikel Arteta.
Meanwhile, new recruit Partey has been tipped to be a big hit in the Premier League by one of Arsenal’s former rivals. With less than an hour to go before Monday’s 11pm deadline, the Gunners triggered the midfielder’s £45million release clause to steal him away from Atletico Madrid at the last minute.
And former Spurs defender Kieran Trippier, who played alongside Partey last season at the Wanda Metropolitano, says the 27-year-old Ghanaian international has all the qualities to take England by storm.
“He’s unbelievable, his physicality, how he breaks up play,” said Trippier.
“Technically he’s got everything. He ranks as one of the best midfielders I’ve played with.
“He speaks perfect English. I don’t think he’d have a problem with the Premier League.”
Arteta was definitely delighted to finally get his man, adding: “Thomas is a dynamic midfielder with great energy. He brings a lot of experience from a top club that has competed at the highest level in La Liga and the Champions League for several years.
“We’re very impressed with his attitude and his approach to the game.
“He’s an intelligent footballer and we’re looking forward to him integrating into our system and contributing to the progress we’re building at the club.”