IS MESUT OZIL AVAILABLE?

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.

No!

Mesut Ozil no longer an Arsenal player

[last updated 28/01/21]

Arsenal current injuries here
Days since Mesut Ozil last played competitive football for Arsenal:

Mesut Ozil arrived at Arsenal in 2013 and it’s safe to say his time at the club has been anything but dull.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal on the bench during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC at St Mary's Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 16: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal on the bench during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC at St Mary’s Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

As I chatted on Twitter, a few people suggested that Ozil’s comments about China at the end of 2019 might be the real reason he is being omitted from the squad, so I decided to see how it all fit together on his timeline.

Meust Ozil’s Arsenal timeline

2 September 2013 Signs from Real Madrid for £42.3m on a five-year deal that made him the most expensive Geman of all time
Takes number 11 shirt
In Özil’s first press conference, he said: “I would have come here for free, that wouldn’t have been a problem.”
14 September 2013 Makes Arsenal debut v Sunderland as assist Olivier Giroud as Arsenal win 3-1
1 October 2013 Ozil is shortlisted for Ballon d’Or. It goes to Ronaldo who said when Ozil left Real Madrid, “He was the player who best knew my moves in front of goal … I’m angry about Özil leaving.”
1 October 2013 Ozil featured in UEFA Team of the Year
May 2014 Finishes first season with Arsenal with seven goals and 14 assists in 42 games, an assist tally that would have been much, much higher had Arsenal’s forwards not been so bad at converting the chances he created
13 July 2014 Mesut Ozil wins the World Cup with Germany and ends the tournament as their top scorer with eight goals, the World Cup’s leader in passes completed in the final third (171), joint-second in chances created (17) and second for possession won back in the final third.
July 2014 Donates his World Cup winnings to pay for surgery for 23 Brazilian children, one of a signifigant number of large charitable endeavours Ozil frequently undertakes with ittle-to-no media coverage
8 November 2015 Sets new premier league record for assisting in six consecutive matches
28 December 2015 Creates 9 chances in a game, most in the season (v Bournemouth)
May 2015 Finishes the season with five goals and nine assists in 32 games
1 January 2016 Contract talks over a new deal reveal Ozil’s original fee was actuallt £37.4m plus £5.1m over next 6 years dependent on CL qualification
24 January 2016 Plays 100th game for Arsenal v Chelsea
2 February 2016 Creates 10 chances in a game, breaking his previous record (v Southampton)
May 2016 Finishes the season with eight goals and 20 assists in 45 games
March 2017 Ozil releases autobiography
May 2017 Finishes the season with 12 goals and 14 assists in 44 games
May 2018 Finishes the season with five goals and 14 assists in 35 games
May 2018 Poses with Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with Ilkay Gundogan in the run up to the 2018 World Cup
15 May 2018 German FA make it known that they are not pleased with Mesut Ozil for posing with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
14 June 2018 Angela Merkel defends Mesut Ozil
27June 2018 Germany are eliminated from the World Cup in the Group Stages and Mesut Ozil is blamed by the media despite only playing two of Germany’s three gams and still creating more chances per game on average than any other player in the tournament (5.5)
July 2018 Nobody seemed to have any problem with football embracing Vladimir Putin in Russia at the World Cup
10 July 2018 Mesut Ozil’s father encourages him to quit Germany after racist abuse from both fans and officials at the Germand FA
12 July 2018 German officials are encouraged to resign after comments about Ozil
20 July 2018 Jurgen Klopp defends Mesut Ozil
23 July 2018 Turkey hail Mesut Ozil’s statement attacking the DfB for racism
30 July 2018 Fans hold demonstration against media treatment of Özil as he loses sponsor
August 2018 Ozil takes the number 10 shirt when Jack Wilshere leaves
20 August 2018 DfB admit failures in regards to Mesut Ozil’s claims
23 August 2018 Bayern Munich president attacks Mesut Ozil for the second time
23 August 2018 Jurgen Klopp defends Mesut Ozil again
14 April 2019 Oliver Bierhoff admits ‘mistakes were made’ with Mesut Ozil
May 2019 Finishes the season with six goals and three assists in 35 games in Unai ‘what is attacking football’ Emery’s first season at Arsenal
18 May 2019 Has dinner with Erdogan
29 May 2019 Tells Unai Emery he is ‘not a coach’ as he’s subbed in the Europa League final as Arsenal get battered by Chelsea
7 June 2019 Ozil marries Amine Gulse with Erdgan as a witness
7 June 2019 Ozil pays for the surgery of 1,000 children to celebrate his wedding
July 2019 Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are attacked by armed car jackers
19/20 season Unai Emery does not select Mesut Ozil for the first thee league games and gives him just 71 minutes in the first 10
29 November 2019 Arsenal sack Unai Emery
13 December 2019 Mesut Ozil tweets about the treatment of Uighur Muslims in China
13 December 2019 Arsenal issue statement on Weibo distancing themselves from his statement after China bans them from appearing on TV and orders the removal of Ozil’s image
21 December 2019 Mikel Arteta is named Arsenal head coach and selects Mesut Ozil for every game before the break, except his first at Everton
29 December 2019 China lift Arsenal ban but won’t mention Mesut Ozil’s name
21 April 2020 Mesut Ozil asks for more details from the club before agreeing to a paycut. Despite clarifying his stance and willingness to take a larger cut than that asked and being one ofthree players to refuse, Ozil is scapegoated in the pres. He is not selected after this.
13 August 2020 Ozil tells The Athletic he believes his stance over a paycut is behing him not being selected
March 2020 Mesut and Amine annoucne the birth of their first child, Eda
7 March 2020 Last time Ozil played any competitive minutes (v West Ham). He played 89 minutes
3 June 2020 It is announced that Adidas will not be renewing Mesut Ozil’s deal after five years
25 June 2020 Last time Ozil was in matchday squad (v Southampton)
July 2020 Finishes the season having scored one and assisted three in 23 games but created more chances than any other Arsenal player and with a higher overall average rating than Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Cedric Soares, David Luiz, Rob Holding, Lucas Torreira, Sead Kolasinac, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock, and Emile Smith Rowe
28 September 2020 German football federation, Dfb, finally admits they made mistakes with Mesut Ozil

I know I’m bound to have missed some things, so please, do let me know using the form below so they can be added, and, with your help we can make this the most comprehensive timeline of Mesut Ozi’ls time at Arsenal

As more details emerge about the people being cut from Arsenal’s wage bill, Mesut Ozil’s pay cut stance, for which he was pilloried, seems like it was the right one and might even be the reason he isn’t playing.

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil (L) and Arsenal's French midfielder Matteo Guendouzi (R) reacts as they wait to restart after Leicester City score the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on November 9, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil  (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

Why is Mesut Ozil not playing for Arsenal? There are many theories, but nobody really knows.

Mikel Arteta is a big fan, the German created more chances than any other player at the club despite hardly playing, and we pay him more than anybody else. It made no sense why Arsenal weren’t using him. At least, it didn’t until Arsenal’s recent announcement that they were making 55 people redundant because of Covid, when, in reality they are using the pandemic to cull the scouting department and cut costs.

Then the pieces seemed to fall into place.

Back in April, Arsenal players were asked to take a significant 12.5% pay cut to help offset the losses the club were going to make because football had stopped. They were the only Premier League side asked to do this and the players were worried that the money saved wouldn’t be used to save jobs. A prescient concern, as it turns out. At that point, the break had only been around four weeks and either two or three players were said to be refusing, depending on which reports you read.

Only Mesut Ozil was named in any significant way. His refusal made the headlines, but his reasoning, which I said at the time was right, did not.

Mesut Ozil pay cut refusal made all the headlines - Daily Mirror 21 April 2020
Mesut Ozil pay cut refusal made all the headlines – Daily Mirror 21 April 2020

Let’s look at those reasons again in light of the news Arsenal’s billionaire owner is saying we need to cut costs because of Covid when, in fact, it looks like all we are doing is cutting costs so we can hand more of it to Raul’s mates and the Kroenkes.

  • Ozil’s agent stated the player was ready to take a much more significant deferral than 12.5% when the club could show actual financial losses.
  • Ozil’s agent wanted the club to show they had lost enough revenue to necessitate cutting wages, a figure that wasnt known at the time and would not be apparent for many months.
  • Ozil was only ‘understood’ to be one of up to THREE players taking this stance. The other two weren’t mentioned, presumably because they aren’t Mesut Ozil.
  • The Professional Football Association warned ALL players not to accept cuts ahead of deferrals.

Mesut Ozil started every game for Mikel Arteta before the break, apart from Arteta’s first match at Everton. He’d also started the seven league games before that, too, for Unai Emery. That’s 17 Premier League starts from 18 games before the pandemic hit. Ozil was also Man of the Match in his first game for Arteta in Arsenal’s Boxing Day game against Bournemouth.

Then the break came, the players were asked to take a paycut, Ozil refused, and he hasn’t been selected since.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but it’s a mighty big one if you ask me.

Miki and Mesut...Does this look like an unhappy relationship to you?
Miki and Mesut…Does this look like an unhappy relationship to you?

I put this theory to the Daily Cannon team and one asked me of the club would really go that far? “We just sacked all our scouts and said it was because of Covid,” I replied.

“True,” came the reply.

In addition to the scouts losing their jobs are ordinary people like you and me, many of whom are still waiting to hear if they will be amongst those to be cut when they really don’t have to be. Arseblog says pretty much all I’d want to on this subject, so there’s no need for me to repeat what he as already said so well.

He also made the point that it suits the owners for us to be angry at Mesut Ozil, for him to be the distraction that takes focus away from the Kroenkes and what they are up.

Knowing Ozil’s off-the-field record, though, I wouldn’t put it past him to reach out to the people made redundant and offer them financial assistance.

Assisting is, after all, what he does. When he is allowed to.

What do the Kroenke’s do apart from hoard wealth at the expense of others?

I don’t know if this is the reason Ozil is not being picked, but I’m going to leave you with the images below. Look at what Ozil is doing and Arteta is saying. He wanted to build his team around Ozil. He started him in every match and Ozil responded.

Then think about the only thing that happened during football’s break that you know about involving Mesut Ozil. If there had been something else, you know we would have heard about it because there is nothing more the UK media love than a bit of Ozil bashing.

He refused a pay cut without evidence it was required and he hasn’t played since.

Make of that what you will…

Mikel Arteta says he isn’t picking Mesut Ozil as he is opting for players who are in a ‘better condition’ than the German.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 04, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 04, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

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.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 08, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 08, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The Evening Standard reported that Mesut Özil was hoping to feature in Mikel Arteta’s squad to face Fulham, as Arsenal kicked off the new Premier League season.

This was something he declared on Twitter himself while also laughing at Tottenham.

It never happened and he hasn’t been seen in any of Arsenal’s games to date.

The next time he does feature, if that ever happens, would be the first time since Southampton, over 12 games ago, that the German has made it into a competitive squad for his club. As for appearances on the pitch, you have to go back even further to West Ham in March.

We don’t know if he featured in the friendly against QPR at London Colney, but he did against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium at the weekend.

Arsenal didn’t hide that fact, either. They posted pictures of the player to their Getty feed, which they often avoided doing recently, even when he was in the session.

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 08, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
ST ALBANS, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on September 08, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Will we ever get to see Mesut wear this on the pitch?
Will we ever get to see Mesut wear this on the pitch?

What is going on with Mesut Ozil?

Speaking to The Athletic during the summer, Mesut Özil confirmed he doesn’t plan to leave Arsenal before the end of his contract.

In case you’re somehow unaware of the situation with Özil at the moment, the midfielder is still waiting for his first appearance on the pitch since the coronavirus shutdown.

He made the bench twice against Brighton and Southampton, before dropping out completely.

At first, this was due to a back issue. However, he returned to training after that and remained absent from Arteta’s team selection anyway.

The player says this doesn’t change his stance on a potential summer transfer and it is even reported that he played some part in Arsenal’s pre-season friendly against Aston Villa which the Gunners lost 3-2 at the Emirates (Dani Ceballos played as well).

“My position is clear,” Özil said. “I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.

“I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone. Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home.

“When a player wants to leave and the club says no, the player must accept it unless they find a solution together. So when a club wants a player to leave and the player says no, the club must accept it unless a solution can be found together. I don’t want to leave, so that’s it.”

Mesut Ozil news from other sources

  • Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Ozil and Lucas Torreira in Arsenal training ahead of Leicester clash [Evening Standard]
  • Is there really no hope for Mesut Ozil at Arsenal? [Football 365]
  • Footballer Mesut Ozil requests help for infant with rare disease [TRTWORLD]
  • Ian Wright ‘devastated’ by Mesut Ozil situation [Kelly and Wrighty Show]
  • Charges dropped against men accused of crude remarks outside Arsenal footballer Mesut Ozil’s Highgate home [Ham & High]
Fenerbahce's German midfielder Mesut Ozil runs on the pitch during the UEFA Europa League group D football match between Fenerbahce and Antwerp at Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, in Istanbul on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP) (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Basaksehir's Mesut Ozil pictured during a soccer game between Belgian Royal Antwerp FC and Turkish Istanbul Basaksehir FK, Thursday 25 August 2022 in Antwerp, the return game of the play-off for the UEFA Conference League competition. BELGA PHOTO BRUNO FAHY (Photo by BRUNO FAHY / BELGA MAG / Belga via AFP)

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FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: Mesut Ozil of Fenerbahce celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Europa League group D match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Fenerbahce at Deutsche Bank Park on September 16, 2021 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

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German midfielder Mesut Ozil gives a press conference after he signed his new three-and-a-half year contract with Turkish football club Fenerbahce at the Divan Faruk ilgaz facilities on January 27,2021 in Istanbul. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

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Arsenal's former German midfielder Mesut Ozil attends the signing cerenomy of his new contract with the Turkish football club Fenerbahce at the Divan Faruk Ilgaz facilities on January 27, 2021 in Istanbul. - Ozil joins Fenerbahce on a three-and-a-half year deal after last playing for the Gunners in March, both clubs announced on January 24. (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

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