Arsenal head of football operations Raul Sanllehi has backed manager Unai Emery’s decision to omit playmaker Mesut Ozil from the last three matchday squads.
When asked by one supporter why the Gunners boss has seen fit to drop the German midfielder in recent games, Sanllehi replied it’s simply down to who is working hardest in training:
“Unai’s policy has always been to play the ones that work hard in training.”
Considering Ozil has scored 43 goals and provided 74 assists in 233 appearances for Arsenal, it seems hard to believe that Emery is keeping him out of the first team simply on his training performances alone.
There’s no doubt that the 30-year-old has been on the decline over the past 18 months. He managed six goals and just three assists in 35 games last season, although it should be pointed out that he made only 28 starts.
Ozil’s game time this campaign has been even more restricted, having featured just twice so far, and it seems almost inevitable now that he’ll leave in January.