Ozil misses debacle against BATE
Mesut Ozil missed his 100th game for Arsenal last night as the Gunners slumped to a 1-0 defeat to BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
His century of sit-outs is all the more astonishing given that he’s been available for 313 matches in total since he arrived five and a half years ago from Real Madrid.
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“To miss that amount of games is quite remarkable, isn’t it?” said former Arsenal defender Martin Keown on BT Sport.
The farce has become so bad, Keown declared, that it’s now “embarrassing” for all concerned at the club.
“Is he injured? Is he ill? One thing as a player is you’ve got to be is available for selection and you want to give consistency,” Keown ranted. “He hasn’t been able to give either of those… it is becoming embarrassing, the Ozil situation”
Although Unai Emery has been criticised by some fans for not selecting Ozil in recent months, Keown’s sympathy is with the Arsenal manager.
“I think the manager is saying ‘you can’t just turn up and train when you want to, when you fancy it. I’m not going to take you on this trip because you haven’t trained enough’, and that is right and proper.”
And Keown believes that Ozil has got to make a decision in the coming weeks. The pundit said: “I still feel he has got something to offer but the player has to ask himself where does he want to play his football?”
Sweet on Suso
Meanwhile Arsenal and Tottenham are gearing up for a fight over former Liverpool ace Suso, claims the Metro.
The north London rivals have both “reportedly held talks” with the Spanish midfielder about a return to the Premier League.
The 25-year-old came through the Reds’ youth ranks but quit Anfield for AC Milan in 2015 and he has since blossomed in Serie A, where the Metro describes him as “one of Milan’s most consistent performers”.
Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claims that Suso is “locked in contract talks” with Milan at the moment, and is demanding a new and improved deal that would net him £4.5m-a-year.
That is pushing Milan to the financial limit and apparently they are “aware they could lose their star man” in the summer if they don’t meet his wage demands.
Suso has helped Milan to fourth in the Serie A with eight assists and five goals this season, and Corriere dello Sport speculates that he “could be convinced to return to the Premier League”.
But with Spurs and the Gunners both struggling with financial issues this season, they could lose out to Spanish club Atletico Madrid who are also in the race and ready to enter any bidding war.
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