Özil, Kolašinac Left Out of Arsenal Squad to Face Newcastle Following Security Concerns

Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac have been left out of Arsenal’s opening Premier League game against Newcastle.

A statement from Arsenal said: “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.”

In July, the pair were confronted by two armed attackers on a moped near Sead Kolasinac’s home in Childs Hill, but the Bosnian defender was able to fight them off before fleeing. 

The mental state of both players was assessed after they were left out of the Emirates Cup match against Lyon following the incident in North London.

Both players escaped injury in the attack, but manager Unai Emery said that neither was ready to play three days after. 

The attackers attempted a carjacking at knifepoint, but Kolasinac darted from the front end of the car to face off against them while protecting the passenger side door.

Since the incident, security officers have been pictured outside Ozil’s home. 

“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,” the statement continued

“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.”

“We are going to see each day and tomorrow we are going to check again how they are. But this morning they came here, and they weren’t ready to play,” Emery said after the incident in July.

“It’s not a good moment to play because their focus is not 100 percent here… the most important thing now is that they can feel good and safe and with their family being calm.”

“We decided it’s best to continue resting with family and waiting. Hopefully in a couple of days (they can) start normally with the team,” he added.