Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has insisted that Mesut Ozil’s club-record £300,000-a-week wages will not be a factor in the German’s playing time at the Emirates.
The Spanish tactician made the shock decision to drop Ozil from Arsenal’s matchday squad as the Gunners took on Tottenham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday due to ‘tactical reasons,’ with Arsenal losing 2-0 in his absence.
Ozil is set to return to the fold as the north London side host Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday but, speaking ahead of the match, Emery insisted the playmaker will not be given special treatment.
“The player’s salary is not important for me," Emery said, as quoted by ESPN.
“I don’t know the players’ salary because for me they are the same. Every player, I want to give them the same conversation or the same decision for [whether they] play or don’t play.
“And then when I decide they are not going to play because of a tactical decision, it’s [the same] with him and another.
Unai Emery says Mesut Ozil will be back in the squad against Burnley tomorrow. Asked if Ozil still has a future at Arsenal, he simply said: "Yes. Why not?"— Mattias Karén (@MattiasKaren) December 21, 2018
“If you are asking this is different because one is with more salary and the other is less salary, for me it’s the same.
“The most important thing for me is to be OK training every day with good behaviour and good commitment.”
Ozil’s future has come under question in recent days following Emery’s decision to drop the 30-year-old in midweek. The German’s limited work rate and energy in pressing the opposition appears to pose an issue in fitting him into Arsenal’s current setup.
However, when asked about Ozil’s future with the club and the potential for a transfer in January at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Emery added: “I am not thinking about that situation.”
The Spaniard insisted that the German star still features in his plans for this season, whilst claiming that Ozil would be involved as the Gunners return to Premier League action on Saturday.
“He scored three goals, he gives us assists. Some matches we need different things tactically and individually. It’s not only for him. Mesut is OK for tomorrow. I trust in him, I trust in our team, our players.”