Mikel Arteta has spoken to beIN Sports about Mesut Özil’s situation at Arsenal.
The Spaniard said: ‘With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved. I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won’t understand it.
‘Everybody can [find their way back into the team] and I think since I arrived here you see where some players have started and where they are right now, their careers are completely changed and they have earnt that right.’
Judging by his comments, Arteta is seemingly offering encouragement to the German by refusing to completely close the door on his chances of a resurgence in north London.
However, he is still remaining coy over the exact reason as to why Özil isn’t playing.
Arteta also states that his decision was made with the Gunners’ best interests in mind, although he does not outline why the former Real Madrid man warming the sidelines is of benefit to Arsenal.
Whatever the reason, Arsenal are wasting a serious amount of resources by refusing to use Özil.
The reigning FA Cup winners pay the 32-year-old £350,000-a-week to do nothing at the Emirates, at a time where Arteta could do with a creative playmaker to sit ahead of Thomas Partey.
According to WhoScored, Arsenal rank 16th in the Premier League for shots per game with only 9.1 efforts every 90 minutes – only West Brom, Newcastle, Sheffield United and Crystal Palace attempt fewer.
That statistic suggests that the Gunners aren’t creating enough chances, something that Özil literally made his name out of doing.
Whether it’s a case of reinstating the German, or signing a new creative source, Arteta needs to find a solution.