Bernd Leno assures ‘loyal’ Ozil ‘is still a part’ of Arsenal side/Bergkamp’s son fails to earn contract following trial

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Arsenal star Bernd Leno has, on Monday, assured that Mesut Ozil remains an important member of the club’s first-team setup.

Out in the cold

Much of the media chatter surrounding ongoings at the Emirates of late has of course centered on former German international Ozil.

This comes with Mikel Arteta having doubled down on his efforts to freeze the former Real Madrid man out of his first-team setup.

Upon Spanish tactician Arteta taking the reins in north London late last year, Ozil’s initial experience actually proved quite positive. The 32-year-old was afforded a consistent string of starts by his new boss, suggesting that he was set to prove central to the plans of Arteta moving forward.

Bizarrely, however, since football’s return on the back of the initial Covid-19 outbreak during the summer, Ozil has not received a single minute of playing time.

Arteta, meanwhile, has made crystal clear that this situation is unlikely to change any time soon, through a pair of high-profile calls.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Per Mertesacker and Fredrik Ljungberg of Arsenal look on as Mesut Ozil kicks his gloves in the air in frustration after he is subbed during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)

First, the Arsenal boss opted to omit Ozil from his Europa League squad for the season ahead.

And this was swiftly followed by news that the gifted midfielder had also not been afforded a place in the Gunners’ 25-man Premier League panel.

‘Still a part of the team’

Much has since been made of such decisions, with Arsenal’s struggles for creativity of late having seen many point towards Ozil as a potential solution.

Nevertheless, the widespread assumption remains that, with Arteta likely to be handed until at least the end of the campaign to fully prove himself, Ozil’s career in north London is all but over.

As outlined above, though, one of the German’s Arsenal teammates has today moved to provide a different perspective on his situation.

Speaking during an interview with BILD, Bernd Leno, a fellow countryman of the veteran midfielder, suggested that, in spite of Ozil’s lack of game-time, he remains a loyal, contributing member of the Gunners’ squad:

‘Mesut is still a part of the team and trains with us.’

‘He is absolutely professional, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.’

Leno continued:

‘Obviously it’s a disappointing situation for him, but Mesut handles it well and is absolutely loyal.’

Moving on

In other Arsenal-related news to have surfaced on Tuesday evening, meanwhile, it has been revealed that Mitchel Bergkamp has failed to earn a contract at the Emirates.

Bergkamp, son of Gunners legend Dennis, was afforded a trial by Arsenal last month, after being released by long-time club Almere City.

The midfielder was handed the chance to impress as part of Steve Bould’s U23 setup, amid hope of a career renaissance in the English capital.

As confirmed by the reliable Charles Watts, however, such a scenario has since failed to come to fruition, with Bergkamp having not been offered an extension to his stint at Arsenal:

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta believes Gunners are ‘long way’ from desired level

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Leicester City FC 8 9 18
2 Tottenham Hotspur FC 8 10 17
3 Liverpool FC 8 2 17
4 Southampton FC 8 4 16
5 Chelsea FC 8 10 15
6 Aston Villa FC 7 9 15
7 Everton FC 8 2 13
8 Crystal Palace FC 8 0 13
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 8 -1 13
10 Manchester City FC 7 1 12
11 Arsenal FC 8 -1 12
12 West Ham United FC 8 4 11
13 Newcastle United FC 8 -3 11
14 Manchester United FC 7 -2 10
15 Leeds United 8 -3 10
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 8 -3 6
17 Fulham FC 8 -8 4
18 West Bromwich Albion 8 -11 3
19 Burnley FC 7 -9 2
20 Sheffield United FC 8 -10 1
Player Team Goals
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 8
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 8
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 8
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 8
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 7
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 7
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 6
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 6
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 5
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 5
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 5
Grealish, Jack Aston Villa FC 4
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 4
Werner, Timo Chelsea FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion FC 4
Jimenez, Raul Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 4
Rodriguez, James Everton FC 3
Jorginho Chelsea FC 3
Adams, Che Southampton FC 3
Ward-Prowse, James Southampton FC 3

Source: 101greatgoals.com