Mikel Arteta says trimming Arsenal squad is January transfer window priority

The Gunners were able to offload Emiliano Martinez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan on permanent deals in September while a month later Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira departed on loan.

But forgotten man Mesut Ozil remained at the Emirates along with Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac, who have barely featured in the Premier League this season.

Arsenal have been linked with a loan move for Real Madrid playmaker Isco next month, but first of all technical director Edu will attempt to raise funds by moving on those who are surplus to requirements.

One player who is not set to depart is attacker Reiss Nelson, despite failing to play for the club since December 3.

It has been a stop-start campaign for the 21-year-old, who has scored once in eight outings for the Gunners this term. Mikeal Arteta confirmed Nelson had a muscular issue which saw him in and out of training, but not 100 per cent fit.

Ozil provides free school meals for Barnet school

The campaign of Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford to provide free food during school holidays for those born to parents below the breadline has captured the imagination of the country, and the Arsenal midfielder has got involved in his local area.

Around 70 meals were delivered to the school this week, complete with Ozil’s logo on the box as the school closes for the October half-term.

The 32-year-old has long been known for his charitable efforts with children, with his agent last year saying that he had paid for over 1,000 operations for ill children, along with efforts to feed homeless refugees in Syria and Turkey, the nation of his descent.

Mesut Ozil axed from Arsenal Premier League squad

The 32-year-old is the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history but has now been omitted from both the Premier League and Europa League squads.

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

“This is a difficult message to write to the Arsenal fans that I’ve played for over the past few years,” he 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.”

Former Germany international Ozil went on to question Arsenal’s loyalty.

He signed his current deal, which expires next year, in January 2018 – the same time Alexis Sanchez departed for Manchester United.

“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,” he added.

“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 Covid-19 outbreak caused the season to be halted, Ozil had started every Premier League game since Mikel Arteta’s appointment as head coach in December.

He has not been included a matchday squad since and – alongside Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos who was also left out of both squads – Ozil will only be able to represent Arsenal Under-23s until 2021 at the earliest.

The PA news agency understands Ozil was one of three players who refused to take a pay cut earlier in the year, while the club also distanced themselves from a social media post made by Ozil in December which denounced the treatment of Uyghurs in China.

“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,” the statement continued.

“But then things changed, again, and I was not longer (sic) allowed to play football for Arsenal.

“What else can I say? London still feels like home, I still have many good friends in this team, and I still feel a strong connection with the fans of this club.

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

“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.”

Wenger urges Arteta to rethink Mesut Ozil omission

Germany international Ozil was brought to the Emirates Stadium by Wenger in 2014 for a then-significant £42m, but has been frozen out in recent times by current boss Mikel Arteta.

Ozil hasn’t played for Arsenal since March and has failed to make the last 17 matchday squads such has been his fall from grace.

Now former gaffer Wenger has claimed in an interview with BBC Sport that Arteta should make room in his plans for Ozil.

The 71-year-old said:

“I feel it is a waste for him.

“Firstly because he’s in the years where a player of his talent can produce the most. And it’s a waste for the club as well because he’s a super talent, a creative talent that in the final third can create a killer pass.

“He’s been the record player of assists, so you have to find a way to get him involved again.”

Wenger seems sure of how he would utilise Ozil, but it seems unlikely that Arteta will take the advice of his former boss.

Ozil’s omission from the Gunners’ final 25-man Europa League squad last week was a telling sign, and with the deadline fast approaching for the submission of Premier League squads, it begs the question as to whether Ozil has played his last top flight game for the club.

Mesut Ozil left out of Arsenal Europa League squad

The 31-year-old has not played for the Gunners since March and has not featured in the matchday squad for the last 17 matches.

He only played twice in Europe last season and the arrivals of the likes of Thomas Partey, Willian and Gabriel mean manager Mikel Arteta’s decision to leave him out of their Europa League squad is the clearest message yet the former Germany international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has no future at the club.

Defender Sokratis and William Saliba have also been left out of the European squad.

On a reported £350,000-a-week, Ozil’s Arsenal future has long been a topic of debate amongst Gunners fans, with the club reportedly in discussions to cancel the final 12 months of his contract.

Mesut Ozil in contention for Arsenal season opener

The German international was frozen out of the Gunners’ squad for the majority of last season, and was expected to leave the club this summer with Mikel Arteta happy to get his £350k a week wages off the books.

But partly thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, no buyers have been willing to move for the former Real Madrid midfielder, and he is set to start the season at the Emirates.

After getting some minutes in Arsenal’s pre-season defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, Ozil could be part of the Arsenal squad that travels to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham on Saturday lunchtime.

The move will split fans of the FA Cup winners, most of whom thought the 31-year-old had played his last game for the club, but as long as the player is at the club, why not make him earn his wage?