KEY POINTS

  • Mikel Arteta does not factor in player salaries when deciding on who to play
  • Mesut Ozil reportedly has an injury
  • Arteta wants healthy and players ready to play at their best

Mikel Arteta is trying his best to come up with the best selection of players to represent the team during matches. The players used will depend on his game plan for the opponent they are about to face.

However, the Gunners coach made it clear that one thing that does not come into play is a player's paycheck. This issue cropped up recently with Arteta curiously leaving out Mesut Ozil since the season restarted.

In a previous report, it was mentioned how the decision to sit Ozil was part of Arteta's "tactical decision." That sparked belief that the German midfielder could be heading out of Emirates Stadium. But until that is cleared, critics are questioning how Arteta could overlook the fact that Ozil is being paid roughly $432,000 a week. The 31-year-old player had been performing well under Arteta prior to the COVID-19 pandemic so the sudden change in game plan has left many befuddled.

Arteta was finally asked if the pay grade of Ozil or any player had any impact on who he planned to use during games. The 38-year-old coach said this not influence his decision. He believes that the contract is an agreement between the club and the player and something that he will never question, Sky Sports reported.

"That (Ozil's contract) is an agreement that the player and club were happy to do, to move ahead and it is never something that I question," Arteta said. "I think players are paid whatever they deserve because there are two parties here and that should never be something I have to judge."

Arteta also confirmed that Ozil is unhappy being at the sidelines. However, he pointed out how the German player picked up an injury recently and wants to see how he progresses. Being a former teammate with Ozil at the Emirates for three years, Arteta is in a good position to know when the best time would be to field in Ozil.

"I'm expecting a player that is 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 and that's the only intention I have," Arteta explained. 

"I know him really well because I played with him," he added.