Eduardo Berizzo has hinted that Steven N’Zonzi is a disruptive influence on the Sevilla dressing room.

N’Zonzi has been frozen out of the Sevilla team after a falling out with head coach Eduardo Berizzo. The Frenchman was taken off halfway into Sevilla’s 3-3 draw with Liverpool in November and hasn’t been in any matchday squad since.

He’s expected to leave the club in January, with Arsenal and Everton both being linked. Berizzo has since explained the situation, stating that he took the decision with the whole squad in mind.

“My way of thinking about the game is collective, sometimes he did not understand it,” Berizzo said, as reported by Tribal Football.

“I believe in a collective game philosophy, the authority of the coach is that of the coach. If this is questioned or discussed, I must impose myself. I always think of the best for the club.

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Sevilla midfielder Steven N’Zonzi.

“N’Zonzi is a very great player, but I think first of all about the collective, with the whole group concerned. I prefer to think about the health of my locker room and to give a more ambiguous answer than to open the doors of my locker room.”

N’Zonzi recently said that he wants to leave Sevilla. He has a £35m release clause in his contract, which is very affordable for several Premier League sides.

The 29-year-old could be the defensive midfielder that Arsenal’s squad needs. Granit Xhaka’s form has been poor this season, while the back-up choices of Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin haven’t been convincing.

However, there may be concerns about his attitude if Berizzo’s comments are anything to go by. N’Zonzi was a key player for Sevilla last season.

The Spanish side soon enter their winter break, and will likely want the situation resolved as soon as possible so it doesn’t drag on into the second half of the season.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,