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Mesut Ozil: Former Arsenal midfielder excluded from Fenerbahce’s first team

Mesut Ozil: Former Arsenal midfielder excluded from Fenerbahce’s first team

Ozil has been a key player for Fenerbahce since joining 14 months ago; former Arsenal midfielder captained the Turkish club in their most recent league game last week; the German international left the Gunners last year

Mesut Ozil has been excluded from Fenerbahce’s first team, the Turkish club have announced.

The former Arsenal midfielder has been a key player for Fenerbahce since joining the club from the Gunners 14 months ago and captained them in their last league game against Konyaspor, but he was hauled off at half-time in that match.

The Turkish giants have also announced that midfielder Ozan Tufan, who was on loan at Watford at the start of the season before returning to his parent club in February, has also been left out of the first-team squad.

Ozil has been a vital figure in attack for Ismail Kartal’s side this season, scoring nine goals and registering three assists in all competitions. But this news will leave the 33-year-old facing a very uncertain future at Fenerbahce.

The Turkish club’s president, Ali Koc, announced at the end of last year that Ozil was “unhappy” at the Turkish club due to a desire to play more, but revealed that manager Kartal was struggling to get the best out of the midfielder.

“Ozil wants to play more,” Koc said in November. “From now on, he needs to focus on his game and keep his commercial interests out of it. He needs to think about contributing to Fenerbahce.

“Unai Emery [Wenger’s successor] certainly felt motivation was an issue. He spoke about “provoking friction” with Ozil in order to get more out of him in an interview with Sky Sports in January 2019. But those efforts were unsuccessful, culminating in Ozil’s omission from the side just a few months into his tenure.

“Ozil, seemingly unwilling to adhere to Arteta’s “non-negotiables” and unable to replicate his creative output of past seasons, was left to fade into the background, an expensive drain on resources at a time when the club desperately needed them.

“Arteta insists he gave Ozil every chance to win back his place in the side before leaving him out of his Premier League and Europa League squads, the implication being that he failed to take them.

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