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Mikel Arteta insists it was difficult to leave Mesut Ozil, Sokratis out of Arsenal Europa League squad

Mikel Arteta has asked Mesut Ozil to train well and see what happens after excluding him from Arsenal
Mikel Arteta has asked Mesut Ozil to train well and see what happens after excluding him from Arsenal's Europa League squad
Modified 16 Oct 2020, 13:10 IST

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has seemingly thrown Mesut Ozil a lifeline, after omitting the German from his UEFA Europa League squad. Arteta is also set to omit Ozil from their Premier League squad, to meet registration rules, with Arsenal having more foreigners in their squad than permitted.

Ozil and Sokratis Papasthatopoulos were both free to leave Arsenal this summer, with both not in Arteta's plans, and now both are set to not be registered in their Premier League squad as well.

"Ozil and Sokratis have to respect that decision, try to train the best possible way, help the team as best they can and see what happens," Arteta said.

Ozil and Sokratis were both free to leave Arsenal in the summer, but didn't. The German international made it clear that he would stay at Arsenal until the end of his contract in 2021.

Ozil is now free to speak with clubs outside England from January onwards, in the hope of signing a pre-contract agreement for a free transfer next summer.

Arteta says it wasn't easy to exclude Ozil from Arsenal squad

Mesut Ozil (left) and Sokratis (right) have not been registered in Arsenal
Mesut Ozil (left) and Sokratis (right) have not been registered in Arsenal's Europa League squad

Arteta has continued to insist that it was not an easy decision to exclude Ozil from the Europa League squad, but seemed to offer a lifeline by asking Ozil to "see what happens" if he trained well.

"Well he wasn’t the only one who’s not in the squad," he said.


"It was a really difficult decision for me to make because to leave players out of the squad at that level where they know they cannot get involved is really tough.

"I don’t like it at all but the decision has to be made because we have a limit on foreign players and unfortunately we have to make that decision."

Arsenal have had to make space in their squad to register their new signings Willian, Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, which has meant that some foreigners in their squad have had to be culled from their squads.

Like Ozil, Sokratis is also free to leave Arsenal, but the Gunners didn't receive an acceptable offer for the centre-back during the summer.

Arsenal are back in Premier League action on Saturday, with a trip to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City.

Published 16 Oct 2020, 13:10 IST
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