Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been frozen out for a number of months under Mikel Arteta but missing out on the League Cup squad last night effectively means his Gunners career is over, according to BBC Sport pundit Chris Sutton.
Ozil has only featured sporadically under Arteta and, after English football resumed in June, he did not play a single minute in the Premier League or FA Cup, a back injury cited as the issue.
The 31-year-old was a surprise starter in the 3-2 friendly defeat at home to Aston Villa, with a follow-up report in The Sun claiming Arteta was looking at ways to keep him involved.
However, Ozil is yet to feature in any of Arsenal’s competitive games this season, and even missed out on a spot in the squad for the League Cup third-round victory at Leicester last night.
“I think with Ozil it’s pretty simple, he doesn’t work hard enough, he’s not doing enough,” Sutton told BBC Five Live (22/9/20, 10:28pm).
“I saw he tweeted a few weeks back that he was fit and working hard. Well, obviously not enough to impress Arteta.
“The fact he’s been left out of the Carabao Cup squad is pretty amazing. It’s the end for him, there’s no way back.”
So it looks as though the appearance in the Villa friendly was a bit of a false dawn in terms of Ozil’s first-team chances – Arteta continues not to involve the World Cup winner in his squad.
While Sutton’s comments may seem harsh, the fact Ozil couldn’t even make the League Cup squad effectively confirms that Arteta views him as surplus to requirements.
Could Ozil leave Arsenal before the transfer window closes? It remains to be seen, but would clubs be willing to pay big money for a player who turns 32 next month, on a £350,000-a-week contract that expires next year, in the current market?