Mikel Arteta says Mesut Ozil needs “a little bit of time” before he can play for Arsenal again this season, while the Spaniard has revealed that the midfielder reacted well to being left out.
The Arsenal manager was pretty brusque in his post-match interview following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester City and initially did not want to expand on leaving Ozil out of his 20-man squad.
When pushed he gave a five-word Ozil explanation – but now Arteta has opened up in more detail as to why the Germany international had been left out.
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“I have been very open with Mesut from day one,” said Arteta. “Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level that he can do.
“He has played every game with me I think. So that’s it. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else. I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.”
When asked why Ozil wasn’t ready to play against City, Arteta added: “A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player that needs sometimes a little bit of time.
“It has been difficult preparation the last two months to get players ready, and again, I am the first one that wants Mesut at the best and I want to put him on the best when he can give his best.”
When asked by journalists about Ozil’s reaction to being dropped from the squad, Arteta continued: “He works very well with me, there were no issues at all.
“My conversation with Mesut is going to remain between him and me. What I can tell you is that it was completely fine, an honest and clear conversation, that’s it.”
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