Ex-Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski believes Mesut Ozil’s treatment at the club is “absolutely not okay”.
Podolski spent three seasons at the Gunners, scoring 31 goals in 82 games between 2012 and 2015.
The 35-year-old, who now plays for Turkish side Antalyaspor, has criticised his old club and boss Mikel Arteta for how they have handled the Ozil saga.
Ozil has been left out of the squad for the Premier League and Europa League this season and has not played for the club since March.
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The German midfielder has not hidden from the limelight after refusing to take a pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic, before taking to social media to offer to pay the wages of the club’s mascot after he was reportedly made redundant.
Despite Arteta saying he tried to give Ozil many chances to win his place back in the squad, his former teammate Podolski is not convinced.
“I don’t know the background, but I generally think with a player who is now in his sixth or seventh year with the club, to kick him completely out of the squad… that’s absolutely not okay,” he told Bild.
“You don’t do something like that, and I don’t know if something happened in the background or not but even if he’s done something, you don’t do it.
“He’s shown his class on the pitch, he’s never been negative towards his colleagues or the club. It’s sad because everyone’s losing in this situation. It should not end this way.
“Arsenal as a club have not looked positive in this situation over the last months.”
Podolski is not the only former Arsenal player to voice his support for Ozil, as defender Laurent Koscielny sang his praises too.
“As a player, he is in my opinion a phenomenon. He can find passes that no one sees, he’s a maestro,” he told L’Equipe.
“He can rock a game with incredible passes….