Mesut Ozil has “embarrassed” the club by getting involved in controversial off-field matters and going against the board.
That is the frank opinion of former Premier League striker Carlton Cole.
Ozil, Arsenal’s highest-paid player, was left out of Mikel Arteta’s 25-man squad for the 2020/21 Premier League season.
The German playmaker has not played since football restarted after the coronavirus pandemic, despite appearing in every game prior to the postponements.
And Cole thinks that it was not only his lack of defensive work rate on the pitch that cost him his place, but also his standpoint on several issues off of it.
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Cole told talkSPORT: “Is he a luxury player? Yeah, he is a luxury player, and does Arteta want that in his team at the moment?
“I think he wants hardworking players that can attack, and actually defend from the front too.
“It’s difficult, but at the same time, he hasn’t helped himself off the pitch as well, getting into being an activist almost, getting into politics where the views might not align with the club’s.
“Even the Gunnersaurus thing, that was going against the board. Obviously they made a decision, and he’s come from nowhere saying ‘I’m going to do this’.
“It kind of embarrasses the club a little bit. A combination of stuff.”
Arteta admitted that he was upset at leaving Ozil, along with Sokratis, out of his pool of available players.
“I am sad that I have to leave three players out of this list which is never pleasant,” he said.
“I have to say that I try to look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it.
“With Mesut I have this feeling because I was being very straightforward since I arrived at this club.”