Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be available for Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday as police investigate “further security incidents”, the club has announced.
It’s understood both players are unharmed and safe and that nothing untoward happened on Friday – although different incidents have occurred at different times over the past couple of days.
The pair were targeted by car-jackers in north London last month, with security camera footage showing Kolasinac confronting the offenders after they approached Ozil’s car – with the two players unhurt during the incident in Golder’s Green.
We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.
Neither featured in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon the following weekend after talks with head coach Unai Emery but had been expected to be in contention to face Newcastle in the season opener.
However, Arsenal released a statement on Friday evening announcing the two players would be unavailable for selection at St James’ Park.
“Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle United following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police,” it read.
“The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives.
“We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support.
“We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible.
“We will not be making any further comment on the matter.”
Despite Kolasinac claiming on social media that the pair were “fine” in the wake of last’s month incident, the two players went on to sit out Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Lyon in the Emirates Cup, with Emery revealing they were “not ready”.
“This morning they came here but weren’t ready to play the match,” Emery said at the time.
“Every player is very important in the team, but also each moment and some circumstances give us a decision between the player and us.
“It’s not a good moment to play because their mind is not now 100%. It’s a very personal circumstance and the most important thing now is that they can feel good, they can feel safe, they can feel calm with their family.
“I spoke to them and decided it was best to continue their resting with their families and wait for a few days to hopefully come and start normally with the team.”