Mikel Arteta says he is ‘hurt’ by the difficult situation Mesut Ozil finds himself in at Arsenal.
After failing to secure a move away over the summer, Ozil was left out of the Gunners’ Premier League and Champions League squads for this season.
The north London club’s desperation to offload the German’s eye-watering £350,000-per-week salary was a key factor in that decision.
But Arsenal will hope that, with his route to regular involvement blocked, the 32-year-old can instead be encouraged to move on in January.
However, manager Arteta has admitted he feels for the Germany international, who still takes part in first-team training despite being frozen out.
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“I’m hurt because I don’t like any player in my squad not to have the possibility to participate or to compete,” he told beIN Sports.
“For me it is really sad because I don’t think anybody deserves that.
“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.”
Arteta went as far as to leave the door open for Ozil’s return, with clubs able to reconfigure their squads in January.
“Well everybody can [find their way back into the team],” he added.
“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 earned that right.
“We gave them the opportunities and they took them.”