Mesut Ozil set to be left out of Arsenal’s Europa League squad
Mesut Ozil will not be in Arsenal’s Europa League squad when it is announced on Thursday.
The 31-year-old has not played for the Gunners since March and his future at the club has been in doubt for some time.
Ozil is the highest paid player in Arsenal’s history and the fact he has been ostracised has been something of a mystery.
He played in every Premier League game under Mikel Arteta until the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic – and has not featured since.
Asked recently why the World Cup winner had fallen out of favour, Arteta replied: “The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving.
“This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.
“We need to keep maintaining that. I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.”
On Tuesday, Ozil offered to pay the full wages of Jerry Quy – the man inside Arsenal’s Gunnersaurus mascot costume – to save his job.
Quy has portrayed Gunnersaurus for the past 27 years, but was made redundant as part of the job-cutting scheme implemented by Arsenal in the summer.
The PA news agency now understands Ozil will not be included in Arsenal’s Europa League squad – with experienced Greece international defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos also expected to miss out.
Arsenal’s Europa League campaign will begin when they face Group B rivals Rapid Vienna in Austria on October 22 before matches against Dundalk and Molde.
The club announced late on Wednesday evening that their academy at Hale End will be closed for at least one day following a positive Covid-19 test.
“We can confirm that a member of staff from our Hale End Academy has tested positive for Covid-19,” a statement read.
“The positive test result arrived at 5pm today and the member of staff immediately left the site to self-isolate.
“As a consequence, six other members of staff are now self-isolating and we have initiated track and trace for the entire site.
“We are working through our CCTV and attendance records on site in order to continue the track and trace process. Our Hale End Academy will now be closed on Thursday 8 October for deep cleaning.
“After Thursday, we will review our coaching plans at Hale End accordingly and will keep all staff, parents and young players fully informed.
“The health and safety of everyone on all our sites is our paramount concern. No members of our men’s or women’s first team squads have been affected.”