Mesut Ozil says he has no intention of leaving Arsenal this summer, regardless of what’s on offer from the club or elsewhere, and insists that decision must be respected.
In an interview with David Ornstein in The Athletic, the midfielder spoke about his own situation, not being used by Mikel Arteta after the restart, the pay cut implemented on the squad, but Arsenal fans will be most interested in what he has to say about his future.
Admitting there was no injury keeping him out of the manager’s plans, he said he was ready to fight for a place, and made it clear he does not want to leave.
“I’ll decide when I go, not other people,” he said.
“I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone.
“Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home.
“Whatever happened in the last two seasons, I’m happy and very strong mentally. I never give up on anything. I want to help my team and I’ll fight for it. If I’m fit, I know what I can do on the pitch.
“When a player wants to leave and the club says no, the player must accept it unless they find a solution together.
“So when a club wants a player to leave and the player says no, the club must accept it unless a solution can be found together.
“I don’t want to leave, so that’s it.”
There’s a lot to unpack in the interview itself, so we’ll let people make up their own minds.
What’s very clear though is that while this is good PR for Mesut’s public image, it’s not good for Arsenal, for Mikel Arteta, for the squad of players who had to go through the end of the season without him, or for supporters.
Even the biggest Ozil fans must see that the situation overall is unhealthy for all concerned, so perhaps this might push both sides (club and player) into finding a resolution so we can all move on in a positive way.