The German World Cup winner hasn’t featured in a competitive game since March and has become embroiled in an unseemly PR battle with his club, culminating in his offer to pay the wages of axed club mascot Gunnersaurus earlier this month.
Ozil featured prominently in the early weeks of Arteta’s reign, but after his refusal to accept a 12.5% pay cut at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in April, he has effectively been banished by his manager.
The club’s highest earner continues to train with the first team squad, but his Arsenal career appears to be over after suffering the ignominy of being omitted, along with experienced defender Soktratis Papstathopoulos, from the list of players who will be considered for Europa League selection this season.
‘I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had,’ Arteta said ahead of Saturday’s match against Manchester City.
‘It was really difficult to tell them that, but these are the restrictions and the rules.
We have to respect that decision and try to train in the best possible way to help the team in that moment and see what happens in December.’
Despite appearing to leave the door slightly ajar, former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell is sure Ozil has already played his last game for the club and can be considered ‘yesterday’s man’.
‘There have been certain things that have gone on, instances where he has gone against the club, so I don’t see where there is any room for him to come back.’