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Arteta: freezing out Ozil ‘hurts me’

Mesut Ozil and Mikel Arteta unable to manage sharp divide forcing the Ozil to the sidelines

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said freezing out Mesut Ozil “hurts” him.

Ozil, 32, who is under contract with Arsenal until June 2021, is the club’s highest earner on £350,000-per-week but has not played for Arteta’s side this season after being left out of the 25-man Premier League squad.

The playmaker, who last played for Arsenal in March, was also left out of their Europa League squad, leaving him only eligible for Under-23 games.

“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,” Arteta said in an interview with beIN SPORTS.

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“But 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.”

Ozil’s high-profile absence continues to be a major talking point around the club and Arteta said he was resigned to having to deal with the issue.

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

Asked whether he could find his way back into the team, Arteta 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.

“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 all the media and fans because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won’t understand it because of what he has done for the club.”

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