Mikel Arteta says he isn’t picking Mesut Ozil as he is opting for players who are in a ‘better condition’ than the German.
Mesut Ozil has not played a minute of competitive football since he faced West Ham in March. He hasn’t been included in an Arsenal squad since the game against Southampton on 25 June.
With Arsenal releasing a ‘Mesut Ozil comeback’ video last week, many thought we might see Ozil line up against Leicester on Wednesday night.
But, as usual, there was no sign of him.
“You can see that the players that we are changing and using every week, that it is very difficult – not just for Mesut but the rest of the players – for some to make the squad,” Arteta told reporters after Arsenal’s 2-0 win at the King Power. “Every week, we try to pick the right players.
“It is difficult for others as well who weren’t involved in the Premier League and they didn’t play tonight either. We have a squad of 26, 27 players at the moment and we cannot give all of them playing time.
“Of course I understand [why people are confused], I respect your questions but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible and pick the players that, in my opinion, are in a better condition to play.”
Although Ozil has suffered a number of niggling injury problems during his time at Arsenal, he has declared himself fit since the start of the season.