Lukas Podolski has blasted Arsenal and Mikel Arteta for their handling of Mesut Ozil and says it’s ‘not okay’ that he was left out of their Premier League and Europa League squads.
Ozil is currently Arsenal’s top earner but has not played for the club since March and the midfielder is unlikely to feature again for the gunners, with his contract due to expire in 2021.
Ozil has made his feelings known and even accused Arsenal of lacking loyalty in post on Instagram which divided opinion amongst fans, pundits and former players.
‘I want to know the background, but I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad that’s not okay,’ Podolski told German publication BILD.
‘You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.
‘I don’t know, of course, if there is something going on in the background or not but even if there is something like that you don’t do it, mainly so you can keep his class on the pitch.’
Just last week, former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny questioned Arteta’s decision to drop Ozil and said the playmaker ‘undoubtedly’ still had the quality to be an important player in England.
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‘We’re both part of the Arsene Wenger generation. The coach loved him as a player,’ Koscielny told French outlet L’Equipe. ‘It was more complicated with Unai Emery and Mikel Arteta.
‘Knowing him, he must always be professional in training, always on time. ‘He is undoubtedly at the level demanded by the Premier League.
‘There is probably a certain case with the club since last year, I hope both sides find a deal that works for everyone. He is a competitor.
‘I hope to see him back on the pitch soon, at Arsenal or elsewhere, because he is real talent. ‘As a man, he’s a very good person, who got along with all his teammates. He gave a lot, helped sick children.
‘He is a generous person, with whom I got along very well. As a player, he is in my opinion a phenomenon. ‘He can find passes that no one sees, he’s a maestro. He can rock a game with incredible passes.’