Mesut Özil looks to have played last Arsenal game after European omission | Football

Mesut Özil has been left out of Arsenal’s 25-man Europa League squad, further underlining that he plays no part in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Seven months have passed since Özil last featured for Arsenal and he has not been part of any matchday squad so far this season. It was conceivable he might be enlisted for action on Thursday nights given the hectic schedule Arsenal face – however, he has not made the cut for Arteta’s “A” list and it looks certain he has played his last game for the club.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, who likewise is far from first-team contention, was also omitted for the group stage ties against Molde, Rapid Vienna and Dundalk. There was also no place for William Saliba, who Arsenal want to give regular game time in a loan elsewhere. A move to the Championship is likely for the 19-year-old.

Given that Premier League squads must be finalised under similar rules on 20 October – with clubs only allowed to pick 17 players defined as “non-homegrown” – it appears increasingly likely that both Özil and Papastathopoulos will also be ruled out of top-flight action until January.

Özil’s contract, currently weighing Arsenal down to the tune of £350,000 a week, expires next summer and he will continue to be an expensive problem until then unless an agreement can be reached between all parties in the meantime. He has also been at odds with the club on various off-pitch issues, most recently offering in public to pay the salary of Jerry Quy, who wears the Gunnersaurus mascot outfit and was recently made redundant.

Tottenham’s Europa League squad also contains some notable absences, with Paulo Gazzaniga and Gedson Fernandes failing to make José Mourinho’s cut. Gazzaniga was Spurs’s back-up goalkeeper last season, making 25 appearances, but has dropped down the pecking order following the arrival of Joe Hart. Fernandes was Mourinho’s first signing after arriving at Tottenham, joining on an 18-month loan deal from Benfica, but the midfielder has made just three starts since.

In the Champions League, Manchester United have excluded Sergio Romero, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo from their 25-man squad. Ole Gunnar Solskjær has, however, included deadline-day signings Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles and Facundo Pellistri.

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Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City have also submitted their 25-man squads for the Champions League while Leicester have done the same in regards to the Europa League. None contain any major surprises.


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