Ozil has not played a single minute for Arsenal so far this season, in fact he has not even appeared on the substitute’s bench in any competition.
The 32-year-old is into the last year of his contract at the Emirates, with the club unable to sell him over the summer and shed his vast £350,000-a-week wages.
Mertesacker, who is manager of the Arsenal Academy and a compatriot of Ozil, believes that his family circumstances could be behind the sad end to his Arsenal career.
The former centre-back insists Ozil is still willing and able to play, but his focus is elsewhere.
‘A lot has changed away from the field,’ Mertesacker told the Klick and Rush podcast. ‘He got married, has a family. Perhaps his focus has changed. Nevertheless, he is still happy and happy to play football.
‘He’s the only player I’ve played with for three teams – Bremen, Arsenal and also at the DFB [Germany national team].
‘So I’m very sorry that he’s currently in a situation where he’s not really used.’
‘I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had,’ said Arteta. ‘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.’
Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell has ruled out Ozil ever playing for the club again, dismissing him as a thing of the past.
‘Mesut Ozil is yesterday’s news at the club,’ Campbell wrote for GentingBet.
‘There is no chance that he will feature for Arsenal again this season, or ever again.
‘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.’