Unai Emery has explained Mesut Ozil’s absence from the Arsenal squad in Thursday night’s Europa League win over Standard Liege, saying the German simply didn’t deserve a place.
The midfielder – the highest-paid player in the club’s history – has fallen out of favour under Emery this season and was not included for the 4-0 win at the Emirates, as Gabriel Martinelli’s double and goals from Joe Willock and Dani Ceballos made it back-to-back group stage wins.
Ozil has made just one Premier League appearance so far this season and Emery has now explained his decision to omit the 30-year-old from his Europa League squad, believing other players are more deserving of a starting position.
“I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us,” the Arsenal boss said in his post-match press conference.
“When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.
“He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same.
“Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match.”