Arsenal have left four players out of their Europa League squad for the upcoming fixtures, with the quartet earning a wage of £572,000 per week.
Mesut Ozil earns over half of that amount (£350,000 per week*), with him the biggest-named exclusion from the selection, while the likes of Sokratis, William Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli make up the rest of the list.
The Brazilian was left out due to injury, with the forward not expected to return to action in 2020, and his exclusion is more than acceptable, despite his £90,000 per week wage*.
Sokratis represents the second-biggest wage left out the playing squad, earning £92,000 per week*, with our club having failed to offload him before the close of the transfer window on Monday evening.
Saliba (£40,000 per week*) is the last remaining exclusion, with the defender having failed to convince Mikel Arteta that he is ready for first-team action so far this term, although him being left out could well lead to the defender joining a Championship club on loan.
The decision to leave Ozil out will come as a shock to some, with an extended use of squad members regularly picking up minutes in the competition, with some members of the fanbase believing he could have had a chance to break into the manager’s plans during the campaign, something that looks unlikely now.
Shkodran Mustafi had been linked with a move during the summer window, but finds himself in Arteta’s squad or the Europa, and I for one wouldn’t be shocked if he picked up plenty of minutes if our use of a back three continues, although reverting to a back-four could well end his hopes of regular action.
Arsenal’s Europa League squad in full (as reported by SkySports)
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Runar Runarsson, Matt Macey, James Hillson, Dejan Iliev
Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Cedric Soares, Shkodran Mustafi, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac, Kieran Tierney
Midfielders: Dani Ceballos, Willian, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka
Forwards: Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe
Is this the final nail in the coffin for Ozil? Could Arsenal really find no way of offloading the German this summer?
*All wages taken from Spotrac.com