Mesut Özil won’t play for Germany again, having burned all his bridges with the national team, according to reports in the country.

Sky Sports in Germany report that their understanding is that the fallout over Özil’s photo with Erdogan has cause irreversible damage, and he won’t play for his country again.

This follows comments from the player’s father, urging him to consider stepping down, with the DFB making the playmaker their scapegoat for their total shambles of a World Cup. Never mind that the team performed just as terribly with or without Özil.

For Özil’s sake, let’s hope the reports aren’t true. It would be a shame to see him forced into international retirement by an off-pitch incident, after everything he’s given on it. This latest controversy is threatening to overshadow the 29-year-old’s fantastic career with his country, with his World Cup win and 63 goals and assists in 92 appearances.

From an Arsenal point of view, it’s hard to deny it would be nice to have a fully focused and rested Mesut Özil, and international retirement would give him that chance. It’s always nice to see Arsenal players succeed with their country, but we’ll all be here to support him if he decides to focus on his club from now on.