Why Mesut Ozil missed Arsenal’s clash with West Ham

A growing number of sources have this afternoon confirmed that Mesut Ozil is not absent from Arsenal’s squad to take on West Ham due to any form of fitness concern.

West Ham vs Arsenal

The Gunners have travelled to the London Stadium to take on capital rivals West Ham in the first of the weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Unai Emery’s men came into proceedings having bounced back from their harrowing 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Liverpool two weeks ago with consecutive 3-goal victories over Fulham and Blackpool respectively.

West Ham, meanwhile, had picked up just 1 win from their last 4 league outings before today, though the Hammers did dispatch of Birmingham City in the FA Cup in their last outing last Saturday.

Nasri in, Ozil out

Ahead of kick-off this afternoon, the main talking point surrounded the announcements of the starting line-ups of both sides.

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini handed Samir Nasri a first Premier League start for the club against his former side, while Marko Arnautovic was also opted for from the off, despite claims that he is keen on a move to the Chinese Super League:

Arsenal manager Unai Emery, meanwhile, surprised with his decision to bench Lucas Torreira in favour of the pairing of Granit Xhaka and Matteo Guendouzi, though it was the omission of Mesut Ozil, not only from the Gunners’ starting XI, but their squad altogether, which has since caught the headlines:

Ozil dropped

And, as per updates from both the Press Association and Standard Sport in the time since, Ozil’s absence from Arsenal’s matchday squad is not due to any form of injury or fitness concern. Instead, the German midfielder has simply been dropped for tactical reasons:

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