Fenerbahce ‘exclude’ former Arsenal star Ozil from first-team squad

Mesut Ozil of Fenerbahce during the Turkish Super League football match between Fenerbahce and Konyaspor at Sukru Saracoglu Ulker Stadium on March 20, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Former Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been excluded from the first-team picture at Fenerbahce.

The Turkish giants announced the decision via social media earlier on Thursday, with former Watford loanee Ozan Tufan also dropped from Ismail Kartal’s squad.

Our Football A-Team players Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tufan have been excluded from the squad as per the decision taken. It is announced to the public, Fenerbahce said in a terse 26-word statement that did not expand on a specific reason for the exclusion.

Ozil’s time at Fenerbahce to date has been a disappointment, with the ex-Germany international struggling for form and fitness since ending his seven-and-a-half year stint at Arsenal to move to Istanbul back in January 2021.

The 33-year-old has made 26 appearances across all competitions so far this term, managing nine goals. He is under contract at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium until the summer of 2024.

Fenerbahce currently sit third in the Turkish Super Lig, two points behind Konyaspor in second but 17 behind runaway leaders Trabzonspor.

Ozil was substituted at half-time of the 2-1 home victory over Konyaspor on Sunday, only his third appearance after returning from an injury lay-off that lasted for seven weeks.

Fenerbahce return to action after the international break with a trip to Kayserispor on April 2.

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