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Mikel Arteta insists lessons learned from Mesut Ozil debacle


Mike Arteta insists Arsenal cannot have a repeat of the predicament of Mesut Ozil, the World Cup-winning midfielder set to leave for Fenerbahce after spending the previous eight months earning £ 350,000 per week without playing for the Gunners.

Ozil has not played for Arteta’s side since March and has been excluded from their Premier League and Europa League squads for the 2020/21 campaign.

The playmaker is closing in on a move to Fenerbahce, while compatriot Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his contract terminated in January, having not played for Arsenal’s first team this quarter.

“You don’t want to return to that position, for sure,” Arteta replied (via the Daily Mail) when asked if any lessons had been learned. “Not for the player, not for the club. But it is happening more and more in all clubs and this situation that you can see in other clubs is happening like this.

“You have to have this open communication obviously to prevent it as much as possible and if it does happen just make a decision and don’t try to delay a situation that doesn’t work any longer.”

Richard Garlick will join Arsenal as football chief operating officer later in 2021, and Arteta has said that a more stable management team would help prevent the club from making the same costly mistakes again.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Sokratis saw his contract terminated | James Chance / Getty Images

“Obviously, a lot has happened institutionally at the club and with some of the big decision makers as well,” he added.

“We are trying to create a really strong team with different qualities which will hopefully give us more sustainability and success in our decisions.

“Sometimes it’s impossible to see what’s going to happen in three years. We tried to resolve these situations at the start of the summer, to try to avoid what we had, but sometimes that is not possible. ”