Germany head coach Joachim Low claims that Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil did not join the rest of his German teammates in greeting Low at the Arsenal training ground during his visit on Monday.
Low visited the training ground to meet with former German defender and current Arsenal academy chief Per Mertesacker, and was greeted by fellow German internationals Bernd Leno and Shkodran Mustafi. However, Low claims that Ozil refused to join his former international teammates following his fiery retirement from international duty.
“We were there for 3 or 4 hours, and it goes without saying that I would have liked the opportunity to speak to Mesut Ozil,” Low told reporters. “Like before, I wanted to with all my heart. But he wasn’t there. All the German players [who play for Arsenal] were there, and we chatted and ate together. But Mesut wasn’t there and we have to accept that for the time being he doesn’t want to speak to us. I don’t know the reasons why he doesn’t want to.”
Earlier in the week, German reports claimed Arsenal manager Unai Emery blocked Low from meeting Ozil, but Sky Sports refuted that claim, and the Gunners boss denied that himself. Low’s quotes seem to dispute that as well, as the Germany head coach claimed he alerted the club he was coming ahead of time, so Ozil had the opportunity to greet his former coach.
“We didn’t show up at Arsenal uninvited,” Low said. “It goes without saying that as the manager of Germany I always inform clubs that I would like to visit beforehand. We did this ahead of time with Arsenal. We therefore arrived at 11 a.m. on Monday and stayed for three, three and a half hours. That’s what we did and they all knew we were coming.”
“It’s logical that I would have loved and hoped that a player who has played for me for so long would have returned to the national team, but also that he would call me personally, even for one minute because up until now this has happened for every player who has decided not to play for the national team anymore, they have always told me personally. I expected that from him.”
Ozil abruptly retired from international duty following Germany’s disappointing exit at the 2018 World Cup, claiming he was treated with “racism and disrespect.” The saga has caused a highly publicized rift between Ozil and much of the coaching staff, front office, and squad of players.