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Mesut Özil says he doesn’t want to leave Arsenal this summer, and he’s going to push to get back into Mikel Arteta’s team for next season.
Speaking to The Athletic this week, Mesut Özil confirmed he doesn’t plan to leave Arsenal this summer.
In case you’re somehow unaware of the situation with Özil at the moment, the midfielder is still waiting for his first appearance on the pitch since the coronavirus shutdown. He made the bench twice against Brighton and Southampton, before dropping out completely.
At first, this was due to a back issue. However, he returned to training after that and remained absent from Arteta’s team selection anyway.
The player says this doesn’t change his stance on a potential summer transfer, though.
“My position is clear,” Özil said. “I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club.
“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.
“When a player wants to leave and the club says no, the player must accept it unless they find a solution together. So when a club wants a player to leave and the player says no, the club must accept it unless a solution can be found together. I don’t want to leave, so that’s it.”
Is Özil helping his own case here?
I’d like to see Özil getting another chance in the Arsenal team, assuming he won’t leave. It’s probably best for all parties that he moves on and they replace him, but if he doesn’t see it that way, I’d rather he’s playing.
As the playmaker says in the interview, he was starting every game before the break. In the fixtures immediately preceding lockdown, he was in good form, as were the team. There’s no doubt he adds a lot to the side creatively.
But that’s precisely why I’m disappointed he’s doing interviews like this. There’s no way this helps his cause getting back into the team, not even slightly.
If anything, you’d imagine the club might be keener to leave him out, so it doesn’t look like he’s pressuring them into a turnaround. They’ve taken a stance and they’ll want to see it through.
If the 31-year-old stays quiet and makes his case on the training pitches, I’m sure he’ll get a chance in one of the many matches Arsenal have coming up. With the Europa League and a shortened season, the club will need to rotate regularly.
At that point, it’s just about making an impression on the pitch. We saw it with Dani Ceballos, we saw it with Granit Xhaka, we saw it with Shkodran Mustafi. That’s the path back to the starting team, not interviews with The Athletic.