MIKEL ARTETA says he will never pick Arsenal's highest-paid players just for the sake of it but admitted top earner Mesut Ozil is unhappy at his lack of game time since the restart. The Gunners have won two and lost two on the road since football resumed, …
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MIKEL ARTETA says he will never pick Arsenal’s highest-paid players just for the sake of it but admitted top earner Mesut Ozil is unhappy at his lack of game time since the restart.
The Gunners have won two and lost two on the road since football resumed, most recently securing back-to-back wins at Southampton in the Premier League and Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-final.
But Ozil has not played a single minute, with the club citing soreness in his back ahead of tonight’s first game back at the Emirates Stadium, against bottom club Norwich.
The German is believed to earn £350,000 a week but, asked whether he would select a player because of that, Arsenal manager Arteta said: ‘Never.
‘Players are paid whatever they deserve and that should never be something I have to be judging on.’
Arteta did concede Ozil would be smarting after missing out. He added: ‘I expect a player who is not playing to feel hurt and disappointed. I believe he’s not very happy because he’s not playing but he also had an injury. I want all my players at their best.’
Arteta revealed there is a way back for both Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, dropped at Bramall Lane on Sunday after the ugly scenes which marred the end of last month’s loss at Brighton.
‘Everybody I have in the squad, my job is to get the maximum out of them and to try to help them and support them. And if they are willing, everybody is welcome,’ he said.
Ozil, David Luiz and Lucas Torreira could all face Norwich, with Cedric Soares in contention for his debut.