Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke out about the Mesut Ozil situation after being asked about the playmaker.
Ozil has not played for the Gunners following the 2019-20 season’s restart in June and has yet to feature in any game this campaign.
He featured briefly in a pre-season friendly against Aston Villa but has not made an appearance since.
And his situation does not look like it will change soon.
Arteta made it clear that it is ‘very difficult’ for Ozil – as well as some other players – to make the squad due to how well the team has been performing.
“The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving,” Arteta was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better. We need to keep maintaining that.
“I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.
“We are picking the players that we believe are the best for each game. You can see we keep training, it’s what we’re trying to do.
“You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it’s very difficult every week – not [just] for Mesut – but for some other players as well to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.
“Of course I understand and I respect your questions, but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible. I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition.”
Ozil does have 12 months left on his contract and earns £350,000-a-week so not playing him this season would be a costly move.
The playmaker of Turkish origin has been training with the first team but has yet to find a way back into the team.
Arsenal have got off to a great start to the season winning the Community Shield, their first two Premier League games and most recently beating Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.