Unai Emery has strongly denied reports that Mesut Özil was left out of Arsenal’s squad for the 3-1 victory over West Ham after a training ground argument with his manager.
Özil was ruled out of Emery’s first win since succeeding Arsène Wenger because he was ill – the seventh occasion since the start of 2017 the midfielder has been listed as sick.
Emery dismissed suggestions that Özil, who is one of Arsenal’s five nominated captains this season, had been absent after a row. The manager insisted the 29-year‑old was suffering with catarrh.
“This information isn’t true. I don’t know who started telling this information,” Emery said.
“You ask me or the doctor of the club – he was sick.
“I spoke to him and the doctor and we decided he would not play. He left training to go home because he was sick. Today, I said to him come in if you feel better and today he feels better.
“Before the match he was speaking with me and the team. There is no problem with the player – ask the doctor and he will explain it.”
The reports claimed Özil had stormed out of a training session at the Emirates Stadium on Friday after being told he would be on the substitutes’ bench against West Ham.
He started Arsenal’s first two Premier League games of the season against Manchester City and Chelsea but was withdrawn in the second half at Stamford Bridge in the 3-2 defeat.