Monday 16 September 2019

Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac excluded from Arsenal's Premier League opener due to security threats

Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil were attacked outside a property in north-west London (Nigel French/PA)
Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil were attacked outside a property in north-west London (Nigel French/PA)

Mark Mann-Bryans

Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil will not be available for Arsenal's Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday as the police investigate "further security incidents", Arsenal have announced.

The pair were targeted by car-jackers in north London last month, with security camera footage showing Kolasinac confronting the offenders after they approached Ozil's car - with the two players unhurt during the incident in Golder's Green.

Neither featured in the Emirates Cup defeat to Lyon the following weekend after talks with head coach Unai Emery but had been expected to be in contention to face Newcastle in the season opener.

However, Arsenal released a statement on Friday evening announcing the two players would be unavailable for selection at St James' Park.

"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," it read.

"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."

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