Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he is 'hurt and sad' over Mesut Ozil exile but reveals 'it is best for the club'

MIKEL ARTETA has revealed his decision to omit Mesut Ozil from both Arsenal's Premier League and Europa League squads has caused him significant hurt.

The Gunners boss has lifted the lid on the German playmaker's exile from the team, where he has insisted the decision is with the club's best interests. 

Ozil took to social media last month where he expressed his disappointment at being exiled from the squad, as he blasted the club for showing a lack of loyalty.

The 32-year-old – who is set to depart the Emirates when his contract expires next summer – hasn't played a competitive game under his former team-mate since March.

But Arteta has stood by his decision, even though he has insisted it has caused his sadness.

He told beIN SPORTS: "I'm hurt because I don't like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete.

"For me it is really sad because I don't think anybody deserves that.

“With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved.

"I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won't understand it."

Before adding: "At the end of the day I'm sitting here to make decisions, to make the decisions that, in my opinion, are the best for the football club. And this is what I have to do.

“The moment that you lose football matches his name is going to come up and when you don’t it won’t.”

Arteta was then asked whether Ozil could find himself back in the team in the New Year.

To which he said: "Well everybody can and I think since I arrived here you see where some players have started and where they are right now.

"Their careers are completely changed and they have earned that right. We gave them the opportunities and they took them."

Arsenal – who sit 11th in the Premier League table after losing three out of their last four games – face Leeds at Elland Road on Sunday.

The North Londoners will be without Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac for the clash, as the duo are self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.


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