July 1, 2020 / 4:12 AM / 2 days ago

Arsenal's Arteta says he understands Ozil is 'hurt' at being dropped

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup - Quarter Final - Sheffield United v Arsenal - Bramall Lane, Sheffield, Britain - June 28, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Oli Scarff/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

(Reuters) - Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta understands playmaker Mesut Ozil’s disappointment at not featuring since the Premier League restart but says he will only select players based on their form.

Ozil was left out of the squad for the defeat by Manchester City and was an unused substitute in games at Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton.

He missed Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Sheffield United on Sunday due to a back injury, making him a doubt for Wednesday’s league game against Norwich City.

“I believe he’s not very happy because he’s not playing. But as well he picked up an injury the other day and we have to wait and see how he evolves,” Arteta added.

“I’m expecting a player that’s not playing to feel hurt and disappointed. I want all my players at their best and to have the ability to be able to pick them to help the squad as much as possible ... that’s the only intention I have.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Arteta said that he was fully aware of what Ozil has to offer, having lined up alongside him for three years during his playing days.

“I think Mesut has unique qualities, he’s a special player for the position he plays. How specific he is in the quality that he has and what he can bring to the team,” Arteta added.

“I don’t think much has changed.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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