I will decide when I have to leave Arsenal, not other people, proclaims Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil made only 23 apperances in all competitions for Arsenal in the 2019/20 season|
Despite rumours linking him with a move away from North London, Mesut Ozil has confirmed that he has no plans of leaving Arsenal with him looking to honor his contract. The German international struggled to perform this season and did not play a single minute of Arsenal’s 13 games after lockdown.
Few players have sparked as much as a divide as Mesut Ozil has during his eight year spell with Arsenal although it doesn’t seem like it might end anytime soon. The German international has struggled to find a way into the team this season with him playing just 18 Premier League games for a grand total of 23 appearances this season. Not only that, the German international hasn’t played a minute for the club since lockdown with rumours indicating that he’s set to leave.
The 31-year-old has one year left on his £350,000-per-week deal with Arsenal but in an interview recently, Ozil quashed any rumours of him leaving and confirmed that he plans to see out his deal despite links to Turkey and the MLS. The former Real Madrid and Schalke 04 star also further indicated that he believes that he still has the ability to help the team succeed and is willing to give everything if Arteta gives him a chance.
“My position is clear. I’m here through to the last day of our agreement and I’ll give everything I have for this club. Situations like these will never break me, they only make me stronger. I showed in the past that I can come back into the team and I will show it again. I’ll decide when I go, not other people. I didn’t sign for two or three years, I signed for four and that should be respected by everyone,” Ozil told the Athletic.
"Things have obviously been difficult but I love Arsenal, I love to work there, I love the people in the club — the real people, those I’ve been with for a long time — and I love London, it’s my home. Whatever happened in the last two seasons, I’m happy and very strong mentally. I never give up on anything. I want to help my team and I’ll fight for it. If I’m fit, I know what I can do on the pitch.”
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced football in suspension for a few months, a spell that saw many Premier League sides under the cosh. But like a lot of teams, Arsenal managed to negotiate a pay cut with their players although reports indicated that Ozil was one of the only ones to refuse the deal. The German admitted that he refused the pay cut but because he believed that the players were “rushed into it without proper consultation.”
“As players, we all wanted to contribute. But we needed more information and many questions were unanswered. Everyone was fine with a deferral while there was so much uncertainty — I would have been OK to take a bigger share — and then a cut if required, once the football and financial outlook was clearer. But we were rushed into it without proper consultation. For anyone in this situation, you have a right to know everything, to understand why it is happening and where the money is going.
"But we didn’t get enough details, we just had to give a decision. It was far too quick for something so important and there was a lot of pressure. This was not fair, especially for the young guys, and I refused. I had a baby at home and have commitments to my family here, in Turkey and in Germany — to my charities, too, and also a new project we started to support people in London that was from the heart and not for publicity,” he added.