Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has admitted that the situation between himself and Mesut Özil has caused him significant hurt, ahead of the Gunners return to Premier League action at the weekend.
Arteta, 38 has revealed hurt over the omission of the German playmaker from both the Premier League and Europa League squad lists but insisted that he understands that some people will not understand the decision to not include Özil.
“I'm hurt because I don't like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete, for me it is really sad because I don't think anybody deserves that" explained the Arsenal boss.
“With Mesut at the moment, with the squad list, obviously he cannot be involved. I try to be as clear as possible with him and with the fans and all the media because they deserve to know the reasons why and some people will understand and other people won't understand it."
Since his absence from the first team, Özil has turned to social media to offer his support to the club including an offer to pay for the wages of mascot Gunnersaurus, who was let go by the North London Club.
When asked about the possibility of Özil returning to the fold, Arteta insisted that everyone has a chance to get back playing regularly for Arsenal.
“Well everybody can [find their way back into the team] and I think since I arrived here you see where some players have started and where they are right now, their careers are completely changed and they have earnt that right. We gave them the opportunities and they took them.”
Domestically, Arsenal sits in eleventh place in the Premier League registering four wins and four defeats from their opening games. Fans have also clamoured on social media for the return of the playmaker, particularly after disappointing defeats to Leicester City and Aston Villa.
“The moment that you lose football matches his name is going to come up and when you don’t it won’t.”
Despite coming under pressure from some section of the fanbase, Arteta who lifted the FA Cup last season is confident that his decision to not play Özil is in the best interests of the club.
"At the end of the day I'm sitting here to make decisions, to make the decisions that, in my opinion, are the best for the football club. And this is what I have to do.”
You can hear more from Mikel Arteta in the video above.