Exiled Mesut Ozil included in socially distanced Arsenal team photo

Exiled Mesut Ozil included in socially distanced Arsenal 2020-21 team photo… despite German not being picked in Premier League or Europa League squads by Mikel Arteta

  • Mesut Ozil was included in Arsenal’s squad photo for the 2020-21 season
  • Ozil is not set to feature any time soon having been exiled by coach Mikel Arteta
  • The 31-year-old was not included in the Premier League or Europa League squad
  • Arsenal’s first-team photo took place in a socially-distanced triangle formation 

Arsenal published their socially distanced team photo on Wednesday with the exiled Mesut Ozil included despite not featuring for the Gunners in over eight months. 

The photo took place in a special triangle formation, with Mikel Arteta at the front behind the FA Cup and Community Shield trophies won by his side in the summer. 

However, despite not being included in the Premier League and Europa League squads this season, the club’s highest-paid player in Ozil, 32, did make the photo, positioned in the back-right of the snap. 

Arsenal released their 2020-21 team photo with Mesut Ozil (second-back, right) included

Ozil was left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads this season

Ozil, who is on a salary of £350,000-a-week, has not played a single minute for Arsenal since March 7, having fallen out of favour with Arteta. 

The World Cup winner made headlines on Tuesday as he called on Germany manager Joachim Low to recall Jerome Boateng to the national team after their six-goal drubbing against Spain. 

Rather than the usual three-row squad photo, Arsenal’s first-team picture this season consisted of all the players socially distanced at the club’s training ground.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the Greek centre back who has also been dropped from Arteta’s plans, was also in the squad snap.  

Meanwhile, Arteta has admitted the Gunners are still ‘a long way’ from where the club should be after an indifferent start to the season.

The playmaker has fallen out of favour under Mikel Arteta and his future at Arsenal looks over

The 38-year-old has led the club to two trophies since replacing Unai Emery in the hot seat, but his team came crashing back down to earth after a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa before the international break. 

With Arsenal sitting in 11th spot in the Premier League, and following his insistence that his players weren’t the ‘team we are supposed to be’, Arteta has reflected on the need for improvement. 

‘We’re a long way, I’m afraid,’ Arteta told the club’s official website this week. ‘It’s part of a process. 

‘The results have to be immediate, and the challenge we have with the club we are representing is that we have to win as quickly as possible every game in every competition…

Arteta has admitted that Arsenal are still ‘a long way’ from where the club should be

‘There are a lot of things to do, short term and medium term, we have seen a lot of changes not only on the pitch but structurally as a club as well, it’s been difficult, it’s been a challenging time in the last three or four months, a lot of things have happened.

‘We have to settle and everyone has to realise where we are now, but I see the future as really bright.  

‘I am a really positive person and I tend to learn much more when things don’t go well and we have a defeat like we had the other day that really hurt after the performance we had at Old Trafford.

‘We have to understand why it happened, be really critical first of all with myself and try to understand the players better, and give them more solutions to win more football matches.’  

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