Unai Emery has said his star player, Mesut Ozil, will not get preferential treatment at Arsenal just because he’s the highest-earner.
Image: Mesut Ozil and Unai Emery
Emery insists that Ozil has a bright future at the Emirates although the Germany international was an unused substitute during Arsenal’s quarter final defeat to Tottenham in the Carabao Cup earlier this week.
The mercurial midfielder has been a shadow of himself recently, having suffered a back injury which ruled him out for four games until earlier in November, when he started as part of Arsenal’s first eleven during a disappointing Europa League away game against Qarabag.
Ozil, who was a reliable link in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, has been relegated to the sidelines since Emery’s arrival at the club. The left-footed player craves a taste of English Premier League action but the former PSG manager has no problems keeping him on the bench, a situation which stirred rumors that the German football icon will leave in January.
Speaking on Ozil’s possible exit, Emery insists that the former Germany national team captain has a future at Arsenal.
‘Why not, yes,’ the manager replied, however refusing to answer questions on the possibility of a move in January.
‘At this time, Ozil will be treated just like every other player in the squad…I’m not thinking about the likeliness that he will leave the Emirates Stadium.’
Emery praised Ozil for scoring three goals and offering assists.
‘Different matches demand some special adjustments in players and tactics…He [Ozil] is not the only one affected,’ he said.
The coach explained that he is unaware of his players’ salaries, also stressing that footballers’ financial status is not a criterion for making the first team or playing regularly. ‘I always explain my decisions to those who are selected for games and those on the bench.’
He continued, ‘The most important thing for me as a coach is commitment from every player…This shouldn’t affect their confidence or loyalty when–for tactical reasons–anyone is dropped for his teammates.’