Arsenal have been tipped to leave Mesut Ozil out of their 25-man Premier League squad, meaning the 2014 World Cup winner is likely to remain an outcast until January, at which point alterations can be made or he could leave the club.
Despite completely falling out of favour with manager Mikel Arteta in the closing stages of last season and not playing once during ‘Project Restart’ or the club’s victorious FA Cup run - largely the result of a mysterious back injury - Ozil stayed put over the summer.
His enormous £350,000-per-week wages made it even more difficult to find a buyer in a market heavily deflated by the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ozil has already been left out of the 25-man squad Arsenal submitted to UEFA last week for the Europa League group stage and the Daily Mail now reports that the 31-year-old has been given ‘no assurances’ he will be included in the Premier League squad that is registered next week.
The official justification for Ozil’s exclusion from the Europa League squad was that Arsenal could not adhere to UEFA’s restrictions on foreign players, needing to cut two players among their 19 overseas players. Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was also a casualty for that same reason.
But the reality is that neither, and Ozil in particular given that only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is paid more, would have been the ones seen as expendable had they been part of Arteta’s plans.
Last week, Ozil stood up for beloved Arsenal mascot Gunnersaurus and Jerry Quy, the man who has portrayed the big green dinosaur since 1993, when it was revealed that cost cutting have meant that he has been made redundant from his role.
Arsenal insist that it is only a temporary measure and Gunnersaurus, which was primarily a part-time matchday role for Quy, will be back once fans are permitted to return to games. But in the meantime, Ozil has offered to pay the salary to keep Quy and Gunnersaurus on.