Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

18.22 9 Aug 2019


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Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac have been left out of Arsenal's Premier League opener away to Newcastle on Sunda due to security reasons. 

Arsenal say the pair won't be involved "following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police".

Both players were targets of an attempted "car-jacking" in London last month. Footage emerged of two knife-wielding individuals on a moped attempting to rob Ozil and Kolasinac while they occupied the German playmaker's SUV at Golder's Green in north-west London.

The footage showed Kolasinac jumping out of the vehicle and confronting the individuals before they made their escape.

Both Ozil and Kolasinac escaped unharmed, but they were left out of Arsenal's pre-season friendly with Lyon a few days later with head coach Unai Emery deciding they shouldn't play.

Ozil has reportedly hired security to stand guard over his London home, as he's said to have been left shaken by the incident.

Journalist Charles Watts claims both players have been targetted since.

Arsenal could play their opening game without a host of first-team players. Record signing Nicolas Pépé is regaining full match fitness following his involvement with Ivory Coast at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Alexandre Lacazette will have an ankle problem assessed on Sunday morning.

The Arsenal statement on Ozil and Kolasinac reads:

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.

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. 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.

Newcastle United v Arsenal is LIVE on Sunday's Off The Ball, with commentary from Stephen Doyle and Pat Nevin. 


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