Former Gunners star and Germany legend Lukas Podolski has slammed Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for his treatment of Mesut Ozil, with the playmaker yet to feature for the club so far this season.
World Cup winner Podolski is currently plying his trade in Turkey with Antalayspor, yet previously spent a three-year spell in the Premier League with Arsenal between 2012 and 2015.
That time at the Emirates saw the forward lineup alongside both Arteta and Ozil, with all three men starting in the Gunners FA Cup final victory over Hull City back in 2014.
Arteta is now the boss after a successful spell at Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, yet it’s not been a happy reunion with former teammate Ozil, with Arsenal’s number ten having been left out in the cold despite being the club’s highest earner.
The 31-year-old is now entering the final year of his contract in North London and appears to have played his final game after his exclusion from Arsenal’s Europa League and Premier League squads.
Such treatment has clearly irked his former Germany colleague Podolski, with the 35-year-old expressing his bewilderment at the treatment of Ozil by Arteta, particularly with the midfielder having spent such a long time at the club.
“I don’t know the background, but I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad… that’s absolutely not okay,” Podolski told Bild.
“You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.
“He’s shown his class on the pitch, he’s never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. It’s sad because everyone’s losing in this situation. It should not end this way.
”Arsenal as a club have not looked positive in this situation over the last months.”