Mesut Ozil has made his stance on his Arsenal future very clear with a message to manager Mikel Arteta.
Despite being frozen out of Arteta’s side since the Premier League restarted in June, Ozil feels he was ready to play and make an impact in the team, and has insisted he is committed to staying at the club for the duration of his contract.
All of this was revealed in an interview with The Athletic, and it will be interesting to see what those at Arsenal – both figures inside the club as well as the fans – make of it all.
Ozil has long been a divisive figure at the Emirates Stadium, and even though he’s barely in the team these days, he often seems to remain headline news.
The German playmaker clearly wants the chance to make headlines for the right reasons, however, as he feels he still has something to offer to the Gunners on the pitch.
In what sounds like a clear message to Arteta, Ozil told The Athletic: “I’ll decide when I go, not other people. I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone.
“Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home.
“Whatever happened in the last two seasons, I’m happy and very strong mentally. I never give up on anything. I want to help my team and I’ll fight for it. If I’m fit, I know what I can do on the pitch.”
He added: “I can’t talk about my private conversations with the coach. But I can tell you I know my body well. I was fit enough to play every game before the break and, apart from a small injury, it was the same after.
“My daughter was born while we were off so maybe I was not always sleeping perfectly, but this is normal. I actually had more energy and excitement to play because of her.
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) June 18, 2020
“As a player, you sometimes have bad days and can’t always be happy, especially if you’re not playing. When you know how good you are and you know you’re not going to be picked, it’s hard to be at 100 per cent and, of course, you can get disappointed.
“This is my profession, it’s what I love doing: being on the pitch, playing matches, showing the people, helping the club and my team.
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“I fully respect the coach’s decision but I believe these things should mainly be decided on the pitch. After the restart, I wasn’t given a chance to show what I can do. You don’t play 10 games in a row if you’re unfit, not good enough or don’t behave well.
“If I played these games badly and was then left out completely for that reason then I might understand, but this was not the case.”
Stats have shown Arsenal still seem to rely on Ozil for creativity, so perhaps Arteta would do well to rethink this one and bring Ozil back into the starting XI next season.