The Gunners manager won’t be moved to start the German just because he’s the highest-paid player on his team’s books
Unai Emery insisted Mesut Ozil’s lofty wage will have no impact upon his Arsenal team selections and refused to give assurances over the playmaker’s future in the January transfer window.
Ozil signed a three-and-a-half-year contract extension in February, which runs until June 2021 and is worth a reported £350,000 per week.
Developments on the field have not been so kind to the 30-year-old in 2018.
He announced his retirement from international football following Germany’s dismal World Cup campaign and has struggled for form and fitness under Arsene Wenger’s successor Emery.
Ozil was left out of the squad for Wednesday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Tottenham for tactical reasons and, although Emery confirmed he will return to the squad to face Burnley on Saturday, he has not started a Premier League game since November 11.
“Some matches we need different things, tactically or individually,” Emery told reporters.
“It is not only for him. And the player’s salary is not important for me. I do not know the players’ salaries because for me they are the same.
“The most important thing is the commitment and they are there, every player, with the commitment.
“When I decide not to play them it is because of a tactical decision. It is the same with him or another.
“If you are asking about this difference because one has more salary and one has less salary, for me it is the same.
“Mesut is okay for [Saturday]. I trust in him, I trust in our team and our players. We are going to play and our game plan is tactically to get the best performance for each individual. That is my focus.”
Amid links to the likes of Real Madrid and Inter, Emery offered no substantive response to a question over whether Ozil would be available for a transfer or a loan.
“I am not thinking in this situation,” he said, having suggested he had not made a point of specifically explaining to Ozil the reasons for his recent omissions.
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“I’m speaking each match with the players [about] why they are inside [the team] or why they aren’t inside,” he added.
“But I spoke sometimes with the collective and the specific individual and how I want him to respond every day.
“The conversation is sometimes not for each match. If I need to speak to the players each match, about why they are inside or they are not, I haven’t time.”