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Arsenal academy boss Mertesacker on Ozil demise: His priorities have changed

Arsenal academy boss Per Mertesacker believes a change in priorities have contributed to the demise of Mesut Ozil at the Gunners.

Left out of Arsenal's Europa League squad this season, Ozil is facing up to the same fate regarding the Premier League list, which is to be submitted by October 20.

The German hasn't seen action for the Gunners since English football's lockdown in July and is now inside the final year of his contract.

Mertesacker knows Ozil well, having played with the midfielder at Werder Bremen and the Gunners, along with for the German national team. It's a relationship that now spans twelve years. And Mertesacker believes changes to Ozil's life off the pitch has meant a change of priorities for the player.

Former Gunners defender Mertesacker, who played 156 times for the club over seven years, told the Klick and Rush podcast via Sportbuzzer last week: "A lot has changed away from the field.

"He got married, has a family. Perhaps the focus has changed. Nevertheless, he is still happy and happy to play football."

The former Gunners defender continued: "He's the only player I've played with for three teams - Bremen, Arsenal and also at the DFB.

"So I'm very sorry that he is currently in a situation where he is not really used."

- updated October 19

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