Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits he understands the “hurt” felt by Mesut Ozil after not featuring since the Premier League restart but insists his selections are only based on form.
Ozil was not in the squad to face Manchester City and was an unused substitute against Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton.
And after missing the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Sheffield United on Sunday due to a back injury, Ozil is now a doubt for Wednesday’s league game against Norwich City.
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But Arteta insists he is treating Ozil like every other player, but is sympathetic towards the German.
“I believe he’s not very happy because he’s not playing. But as well he picked up an injury the other day and we have to wait and see how he evolves,” Arteta added.
“I’m expecting a player that’s not playing to feel hurt and disappointed. I want all my players at their best and to have the ability to be able to pick them to help the squad as much as possible … that’s the only intention I have.”
Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta said that he was fully aware of what Ozil has to offer, having lined up alongside him for three years during his playing days.
“I think Mesut has unique qualities, he’s a special player for the position he plays. How specific he is in the quality that he has and what he can bring to the team,” Arteta added.
“I don’t think much has changed.”