Despite Arsenal’s midfield crying out for the type of invention and creativity the 32-year-old once offered in abundance, Ozil will be unable to help Arteta’s side until January at the earliest and even then it would take a seismic U-turn from his former teammate to render that prospect a possibility.
While some senior players have been accused of destabilising the dressing room amid an almost unprecedented run of poor form, Leno maintains that Ozil has remained the ultimate professional and is still held in high regard by his colleagues.
‘That is of course a difficult question,’ he told Sky Germany when asked if Ozil’s return could benefit the team.
‘He’s not even registered for the first half of the season, so he wouldn’t be an option until January, if at all. The trainer made that decision.
‘Of course, Mesut has exceptional quality, there is no question about that. But the coach selected 25 other players, we have to accept that.
Arteta had previously stated that Ozil’s absence was down to footballing reasons but more recently hinted he could look to reassess his decision come January.
He said: ‘He’s not in the squad right now. I’m focusing just on the players we have here,’ said Arteta. ‘But, whatever happens in January, we have some time to decide.’