'Pathetic': Mesut Ozil cops brutal $34 million snub from Arsenal

Australian Associated Press
·4-min read
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil says is 'deeply disappointed' to have been axed by the Premier League club. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil says is 'deeply disappointed' to have been axed by the Premier League club. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Mesut Ozil is "deeply disappointed" to have been axed from Arsenal's Premier League squad and insists that his loyalty to the club has not been reciprocated.

The 32-year-old German international, the highest-paid player in Arsenal's history, has now been omitted from both the club's Premier League and Europa League squads.

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Ozil has not played a single minute for the Gunners since March 7, having initially been a mainstay following Mikel Arteta's appointment last year.

The midfielder signed a lucrative three-year deal with the club in January 2018, under which he hears $34 million (AUD) annually - the highest paid player in Arsenal history.

When asked about Ozil's emotional statement later, manager Arteta said on Wednesday he took the blame for not getting the best from the mercurial German.

"This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I've played for over the past few years," Ozil wrote 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.

"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.

"No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance and not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this."

Mesut Ozil ‘deeply disappointed’ by Arsenal axing

Ozil signed his current deal, which expires next year, in January 2018.

The PA news agency understands that Ozil was one of three players who refused to take a pay cut earlier in the year.

The club also distanced itself from a social media post made by Ozil in December which denounced the treatment of Uyghurs in China.

"I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice," Ozil added.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been axed by the Premier League club, but will continue to earn his record salary. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been axed by the Premier League club, but will continue to earn his record salary. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Arteta, asked about Ozil's statement ahead of Arsenal's Europa League opener away to Rapid Vienna, said it was purely a football decision.

"My conscience is very calm because I have been really fair with him,"said the Spaniard.

"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 have failed."

Opinions on Ozil’s future and tenure at Arsenal and football more broadly were varied in the wake of the news, with long-time critic Piers Morgan taking to Twitter to slam the 32-year-old player.

“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 wrote.

Ozil though, found support from English football great Gary Lineker, who said there was likely more to the story behind Ozil’s fall from grace.

“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.”

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