Mesut Ozil remains ‘convinced’ that his omission from Arsenal’s Premier and Europa League squads is punishment for his outspoken nature.
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Ozil was left “deeply disappointed” by the decision not to name him in either side for the 2020/21 season.
The German could still could back into the fold when the squads are updated in the new year but it seems more likely that the final months of his contract in north London will be spent on the sidelines.
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta explained his choice in midweek, claiming that he had “been very fair” with the World Cup winner.
“I have to try and look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it. I have this feeling with Mesut.
“Honestly I take full responsibility. I have to be the one getting the best out of the players. It is my responsibility.”
He also insisted “it is nothing related to any behaviour or pay cuts,” but Ozil believes his public condemnation of China’s alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province last December played a part.
Arsenal distanced themselves from the comments at the time but the Daily Mail say the Instagram post ‘still had damaging commercial consequences for the club’.
The club ‘retain a significant commercial presence’ in the country, state broadcaster CCTV dropped coverage of Arsenal’s game against Manchester City soon after, the Chinese foreign ministry and FA criticised Ozil and he was removed from Chinese editions of Pro Evolution Soccer and social media platform Weibo.
Ozil seemed to allude to the situation in his first statement on being dropped by Arsenal, stating: “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.”