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Mikel Arteta will andapos;neverandapos; pick Mesut Ozil - or any Arsenal player - based on wages

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Mikel Arteta says he will never pick Mesut Ozil, or any other Arsenal player, based on what their weekly wage is.

Ozil has not featured at all for Arsenal since the Premier League’s return and he was completely left out of their 20-man squad for their loss to Manchester City on June 17.

The German is now struggling with a back problem that kept him out of Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Sheffield United and is a doubt for Wednesday’s clash with Norwich.

The attacking midfielder’s long-term future at Arsenal remains a talking point, with Ozil on a wage of £350,000-a-week but failing to feature regularly.

Arteta confessed on Tuesday that Ozil is “not very happy” with the current situation, but that he would expect someone in his position who is not playing “to feel hurt and disappointed”.

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However when also asked if Ozil being the highest-earner at the club had any impact on team selection, Arteta replied: “Never.

“That is an agreement that the player and club were happy to do, to move ahead and it is never that I question.

“I think players are paid whatever they deserve because there are two parties here and that should never be something I have to judge.

“I'm expecting a player that is not playing to feel hurt and disappointed.

(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“I believe that he (Ozil) is 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.

“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 and that’s the only intention I have.”

Arteta knows Ozil having played with him during the start of his career at Arsenal and he still believes the German has something to offer.

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“Mesut has unique qualities,” said Arteta.

“He is a very special player for the position he plays, how specific he is in the qualities that he has and what he can bring to the team.

“I know him really well because, as you said, I played with him. I don’t think much has changed [from when he joined Arsenal back in 2013].

“Obviously he adapted to the league and he needed some time but he started to perform pretty quickly and he established himself in this league for a long time, something that is not easy to do.




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