Mesut Ozil Out of Arsenal Squad for Liverpool Trip with Knee Injury


LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11: Granit Xhaka of Arsenal FC looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Emirates Stadium on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)

Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil will spend even more time on the sidelines after being ruled out of Saturday’s Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield because of a knee injury.     

Per BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, the 30-year-old player complained of pain in his knee and was left out of the squad:

It’s the latest setback in what has been a frustrating season for the German star.

New manager Unai Emery has relied less on Ozil as the 2018/19 season has worn on, taking him off at half-time in their most recent outing against Brighton & Hove Albion. The team boss highlighted it was a tactical decision after the 1-1 result:

Per the Telegraph‘s Sam Dean, he previously dropped the former Real Madrid man from his squad for the same reason. Dean noted it wasn’t a new development, but Ozil’s absences usually came with an excuse of sorts:

“His absence was nothing new, of course, but this was the first time there had been no mitigation. There was no illness to cite, no back spasm to blame. Emery simply decided he would rather have a pair of 19-year-olds, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah, as attacking options.

“Was Ozil missed? It is doubly worrying for the German that the answer is probably no. Arsenal’s problems were largely elsewhere, most notably in front of the Spurs goal and in their own under-strength back line. They did not struggle to create chances, as Ozil has spent a career doing, rather they were unable to finish them.”

There was already a good chance he would not have been in the squad to face the in-form Premier League leaders Liverpool, and Arsenal blogger James McNicholas wouldn’t rule out the possibility Ozil was using the excuse of knee pain to skip this contest:

The Gunners lacked creativity against the Seagulls after Ozil left the pitch, and Emery is likely to compensate for his absence by turning to Aaron Ramsey. 

What this latest setback means for Ozil’s long-term future at the Emirates Stadium is unclear, but with the January transfer window right around the corner, a sudden exit can’t be ruled out.

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