Supposedly out with a ‘slight’ back problem, Mesut Ozil has not been seen playing football since the it returned and Mikel Arteta’s comments after Arsenal’s defeat to Spurs tell us a lot.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil warms up for the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 15, 2019.
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil warms up for the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 15, 2019. (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite saying just a few days ago that there was ”always a place” for Mesut Ozil, Mikel Arteta said after the Spurs game, “He’s still in the same position and we will manage everything internally. I have nothing to say.”

I don’t know about you, but that’s not the reply you tend to hear when a player is actually injured, is it?

With just one year left on his bumper contract, the club have been trying to get him out of the door for a while now. There is no doubting that he entered a comfort zone once that deal was signed but he also had a number of significant personal matters off the pitch, including having to deal with racism and a knife attack.

Daily Mail 16 May 2020

Still, he’s paid to play football and he hasn’t done much of that this season. When he has, there has been little end return as his one goal and three assists in 23 games highlights.

To get Ozil out of the club the player will need to take a large drop in salary and, well, why should he?

Think if it was you in your job and you didn’t have to halve your salary for 12 months unless you agreed.

Ideally, given that he is 31, Mikel Arteta would have been able to find Ozil’s spark again. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen either.