Mesut Ozil and Sokratis left OUT of Arsenal’s Europa League squad

Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have not been included in Arsenal’s squad for the Europa League group-stage.

Ozil, the club’s highest earner on £350,000 a week, has not played for the Gunners since March and has been a part of just two matchday squads post-lockdown.  

Greek defender Sokratis, meanwhile, is also yet to feature this season and the exiled pair have not been selected in Mikel Arteta’s 25-man European squad. 

The omission comes as Arsenal renew their attempts to reach a pay-off agreement with Ozil, who has been frozen out by manager Arteta.

Ozil’s £350,000 a week deal expires next summer though he can’t join a new club in Europe until January, complicating Arsenal’s hopes of persuading him to leave now the summer window has closed.

Both Ozil and Sokratis have fallen out of favour under Arteta, despite playing regularly under the Spaniard before the coronavirus lockdown hit.  

Ozil was in the news on Tuesday as he handed Arsenal a dilemma by offering to dip into his own pocket to keep the man inside their Gunnersaurus mascot costume in a job while he remains at the club.

Jerry Quy, who filled the role for 27 years alongside a series of other jobs around the club, lost his job as part of Arsenal’s recent Covid-19-related cost-cutting drive.

His position, which he has carried out since Gunnersaurus was introduced in 1993, was deemed no longer essential with games currently being played behind closed doors and no supporters to entertain. 

However Quy and Gunnersaurus were both hugely popular around the club and Ozil, whose contract runs out next summer, said: ‘I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot and integral part of our club was made redundant after 27 years.

‘As such, I’m offering to reimburse Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much.’ 

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