Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has insisted Mesut Ozil deserves his eyewatering £350,000-a-week earnings despite the German midfielder's recent lack of action in the first-team.
Ozil, who first joined the Gunners in 2013 and signed a new deal in 2018, has not played a minute of football since it resumed, and speculation continues to link him with a move away from the club.
He is also doubt to face Norwich on Wednesday through injury, but when asked about whether his enormous earnings were ever a factor in him not being selected, Arteta was adamant this was not the case.
“Never," the Spaniard said. "That is an agreement the player and the club were really happy to do. To move ahead. It’s never something I question.
“Players are paid whatever they deserve because they are both parties here. That should never be something I have to be judging. I know him really well because I played with him. Mesut has unique qualities. A really special player for the position he plays, he is specific in the qualities he has.
“I don’t think much has changed from when he first arrived. He established himself in this league for a long time, which is not easy. I’m expecting a player who isn’t playing to feel hurt and disappointed. I believe he’s not very happy because he’s not playing.
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“But, as well, he picked up an injury the other day and we have to see how he evolves. I want all my players at their best and to have the ability to pick them. That’s the only intention that I have.”
“Everybody I have in the squad, my job is to get the maximum out of them,” Arteta said. “If they are willing, everybody is welcome. I always hope that the players want to give their best.”
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