Mikel Arteta has claimed he gave Mesut Ozil enough chances to prove himself before making him an Arsenal outcast.
The German international’s contract expires with the Gunners at the end of the season, but after failing to secure a move in the summer, his opportunities for playing time look scarce.
Arteta has deemed Ozil surplus to requirements for the upcoming campaign, omitting him from both his Premier League and Europa League squads. That means he will be unable to play in either competition until January at the earliest.
The Arsenal boss has come in for some criticism for his treatment of the midfielder, but insists it was a decision made in the best interests of the club.
"What I can tell you that I tried my best, I tried to give him as many opportunities as I could," Arteta told Sky Sports.
"And that from my own side, I’ve been patient, given him opportunities and been fair.
"He’s a player that belongs to a football club, he’s been a really important player in the last few seasons. I have to respect that, I’m here to make decisions, the best decisions for the team and for the club.
"This is what I try to do and then I have to explain them because people need the reasons and the right answers. I just give mine, whether they believe me or agree with me or not, there’s nothing I can do.
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"But I have to put my decisions, with my heart and with my brain to make the right decisions that I believe are good."
Ozil released a lengthy statement after the decision to leave him out of Arsenal’s squads, claiming he is still ready to battle for a role at the Emirates.
A section of the statement read: No matter what, I will keep fighting for my chance an not let my 8th season at Arsenal end like this. I can promise you that this hard decision won’t change anything in my mindset – I will continue to train as best as I can and wherever possible use my voice against inhumanity and for justice.”
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