Mesut Ozil said there have been “people trying to destroy me” at Arsenal for the past two years, but he will serve his final year of the contract before leaving the club next summer in Europe. The 31-year-old midfielder has been stagnating under Mikel Arteta since returning from football, not playing a single minute and was even allowed to leave England early for the holidays instead of being part of the group that beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final on August 1.

Ozil was one of three players who declined the 12.5% salary cut. Before the stoppage of football, the midfielder started all ten Premier League games under the command of Arteta and the athlete, who also faced a difficult relationship with Unai Emery, hinted that reasons off the field explain why he was left out team since then.

“As players, we all want to contribute,” he told The Athletic. “But we needed more information and many questions were left unanswered. Everyone was fine with a postponement while there was so much uncertainty – I would be OK to have a bigger share – and a cut, if necessary, once the financial and football prospects were clearer. But we were hurried to do so without proper consultation ”.