Last updated 10 months ago | By Agencies
Arsenal fear the security threats that caused Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac to miss the first game of the season could see the pair miss further action.
The Gunners took the surprise step of withdrawing the duo from the squad that travelled to Newcastle over the weekend due to ‘further security incidents’ following the frightening scenes that saw the Gunners stars ambushed by two knife-wielding thugs at the end of last month.
The worrying incidents are believed to have connections to London-based gangs - and there are concerns the threat to Ozil and Kolasinac will become an ongoing problem.
The pair is described as being deeply concerned about the situation.
It leaves Arsenal in a delicate scenario as they look to ensure the safety of not just Ozil and Kolasinac - but the entire squad.
Two men were arrested outside Ozil’s house in north London last week - and security guards and dogs have now been seen outside the stars’ homes in a 24-hour watch.
But guaranteeing their safety whilst on club duty will provide the Gunners with obvious logistical difficulties.
The players were on a day off on Monday following the win at St James’ Park on Sunday but were due to report back for duty yesterday.
Unai Emery said on Sunday he wanted the pair available as soon as possible but even if they are able to return against Burnley on Saturday, the situation will have to be regularly reviewed regularly.
Kolasinac’s partner is understood to have returned to Germany, underlining the security threat.
After their car-jacking ordeal, Kolasinac posted a defiant picture of the pair smiling on Twitter
Ozil has been linked with a move away from the Emirates - but the forward loves London life and has made clear he wants to stay and fight for his place despite falling out of favour for much of last season.
MLS club DC United want to hold talks with the World Cup winner about a move to Washington next year as they seek a replacement for Wayne Rooney - who will join Derby in a player coach capacity from January.
But sources claimed on Monday that Ozil is not ready to consider a move to the States.