Arsenal have submitted their 25-man Europa League roster for this season’s competition. Both Mesut Özil and Sokratis have been left off it. The decision is not surprising, and it confirms just how far the veteran pair have crashed down the pecking order in North London.
It’s quite possible we’ve seen the last of both players in an Arsenal shirt. Özil last played a competitive minute for the club on March 7th, just before the shutdown. He featured in at least one of the friendlies leading up to the restart but has not played since that match against West Ham. Sokratis made two added-time, clock-killing substitute appearances during the restart.
We know Mesut Özil was one of the only players not to agree to a paycut in late March, citing concerns over how the money saved would be used and what effect it would have. There have been rumors that Sokratis also did not take a paycut.
Mikel Arteta runs a tight ship and wants everybody pulling in the same direction. I’m not saying the pair have been frozen out because of paycut stuff, but I’m also not not saying it. We probably won’t ever know for sure.
Mikel Arteta and Arsenal have a similar decision to make for the Premier League. 25-man rosters must be submitted by October 20th, and two non-homegrown players will have to be left off.
I’ve been holding out hope for a reconciliation with Özil and for him to return to the lineup. But at this point, that doesn’t look likely. It’s a disappointing way for his Arsenal career to end. I was so excited when Arsenal signed him in 2013. He was one of the best, if not the best, attacking midfielders in the Premier League for two or three seasons and a joy to watch. What a bummer it’s ending like this.