Arsenal manager Unai Emery has come out strongly in defence of his star player Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker, who recently retired from international football due to “racism and disrespect” has been told that the club can be a “home” for him.
Ozil was a part of the Die Mannschaft squad that crashed out of the group stages in the World Cup in Russia this year. He received a lot of hate both for his performances and for his decision to be photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May. The player has apparently received death threats from fans who have slandered him ever since the photographs were published.
Ozil, who has Turkish roots released a lengthy statement on Sunday proclaiming that the treatment he received has caused him grief and anguish and he “no longer” wanted to wear a German national team shirt. In the same statement, he categorically named and blamed several key officials from the DFB and the German government for instigating people against him. The German FA has, however, “emphatically rejected” Ozil’s claims of racism.
Speaking to the media about the issue following the debacle, Emery said, “Mesut has the respect of every player here. All of us want to help Mesut feel like it is his home here with us – like a family, and it is a family for every player.”
The former Real Madrid midfielder will be joining the team for pre-season in Singapore and they will be facing Atletico Madrid in a friendly on Thursday. Speaking on whether the controversies would take a toll on his number 10’s performances, the former PSG manager said,” I am sure he is going to have a big season with us. He has experience, he has quality and he has a great mentality.”
As per reports, Arsenal chief Ivan Gazidis was applauded by the Arsenal players and backroom staff for defending Ozil during a club barbecue on Thursday.