Mikel Arteta hints Mesut Ozil and Guendouzi could return to the Arsenal team

Mikel Arteta has told Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi to follow the example of Granit Xhaka if they want to return to the Arsenal team.

Ozil and Guendouzi have been left out of the team for a while now, and Arsenal have since enjoyed a resurgence under Arteta, who has guided the team to six wins in their previous eight matches.

This includes back-to-back wins over Liverpool and then Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals last week, with Xhaka instrumental in both matches.

Xhaka’s future at the Emirates looked uncertain in November after he was stripped of the captaincy having reacted in a furious way to supporters who booed him when he was substituted.

“The challenge with Granit was to convince him that there was still a place for him here – that I had big belief in him and that things can turn around pretty quickly in this industry,” Arteta told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

“He had to send the right messages. First of all, he had to believe that he could do it and if that was the case, we were going to support him all the way through.

“I’m really glad to hear and sense the reaction from the fans towards him, I think they can appreciate what he’s done. That’s in the past, there’s a lot of positives to take from difficult situations and we all learn from that.

“He’s a really good example for any player that is in a difficult moment that if you are willing, consistent and really want to do it generally, I think there’s always a way back.”

Ozil has not been involved since March, before competitions were suspended because of the coronavirus crisis, while Guendouzi has not been involved in the team since confronting Brighton players in a 2-1 defeat on June 20.

Asked whether Granit Xhaka could be considered an example for Ozil and Guendouzi, Arteta said: “That applies for any player, and any member of the staff.

“If you really show that then you’re deciding to do the best, not for yourself, but for the team and for the club, I think everybody will welcome you.

“It’s not just me that has to give the green light. It’s everybody that has to be supportive and you need to feel as well that support from everybody because if not it’s a very uncomfortable situation.”


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