Ainsley Maitland-Niles has reached out to Mesut Ozil with a message of support and claims the whole squad are behind the midfielder after he was left out of Arsenal’s Premier League and Europa League plans.
Ozil, 32, is yet to make a single appearance for Arsenal this season and last featured under Mikel Arteta way back in March, despite being the club’s top earner on wages of £350,000-a-week.
The German penned an emotional letter on his Instagram page after being denied a chance to fight for his place in the first-team and Arteta responded by defending his decision on Wednesday, brushing off suggestions that it had anything to do with the player’s refusal to take a pay-cut.
The situation could be viewed as an unwanted distraction for the Gunners ahead of their Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna this evening but Maitland-Niles insists the players are fully concentrated on the task at hand in Austria.
‘The squad’s behind Mesut, we’re a team,’ the Arsenal and England youngster said.
‘That’s always going to be the case until Mesut decides to make his decision on what he wants to do and what he wants to say.
‘But ultimately we’re focussed on the game.
‘If we do finish the game and the three points are secured, then we can focus on going back to the training ground and resolving the situation as a team.’
‘Football will never stop surprising me,’ the ex-Arsenal striker tweeted.
‘The fact that whatever has gone on couldn’t be resolved between the club and Mesut is sad.
‘Sad for everyone involved and I can only send him strength for what will be a difficult few months knowing he won’t even have a chance to play. Gutted.’