Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says he has no regrets about leaving Mesut Ozil out in the cold.
The 2014 World Cup winner with Germany was omitted from Arsenal's official squad list submitted to the Premier League. The 32-year old is also absent from their Europa League list given over to UEFA.
Ozil responded on Wednesday with a Twitter post saying, "Upon signing my new contract in 2018, I pledged my loyalty and allegiance to the club that I love, Arsenal, and it saddens me that this has not been reciprocated.
"As I have just found out, loyalty is hard to come by nowadays."
— Mesut Özil (@M10) October 21, 2020
Speaking ahead of their Europa League game away to Rapid Vienna, Arteta insisted he had no ill-feeling towards the former Real Madrid playmaker.
"Everybody is free to express his feeling," the Gunners' manager said, "That's just a football decision that my conscious is really calm.
"I've been really fair with him, my level of communication with him has been really high.
"My level of communication has been really high, we know what to expect with each other.
"When I believe that he could contribute to the team being better - which is why I was hired to this football club to become the manager to win football matches, competition and create and build a project for the short, medium and long term - he has had the opportunities like everybody else.
"I am sad that I have to leave three players out of this list which is never pleasant.
"I have to say that I try to look everybody in the eye and be comfortable with it. With Mesut I have this feeling because I was being very straightforward since I arrived at this club."
Ozil has been Arsenal's highest-paid spectator in recent months. His last Premier League game for the club came on March 7 in a 1-0 win over West Ham.
He has just under a year remaining on his contract and is pocketing a reported £350,000 (€388,000) a week.
Despite the numbers involved, Arteta doesn't seem in any hurry to sell the German.
"Obviously a player with that dimension with the career he has had as well as international level, everything around him has a big impact," he said.
"It has been the case for the last eight years, it's nothing new that is just happening now.
"A lot of things have happened over these eight years. My job is to get the best out of every player to contribute to the team performance. Here I feel at the moment today that I want the best possible Mesut for the team.
"In some moments I was able to get close to that, at the moment I haven't been able to do it because I have to make the decision to leave him out of the squad. This is the reality in football.
"Anything can happen and I have learned that over the years.
"This is the reality and we have to face it. The best way to face it is to talk things through face to face and in the right way. This is the way I am and the way I am going to keep doing it."