SINGAPORE – Arsenal boss Unai Emery said Mesut Ozil has nothing but respect from his team-mates after his decision to quit Germany's national team claiming racism sparked uproar in his home country.
Emery on Wednesday said Arsenal were taking pains to make sure Ozil, 29, feels comfortable at the club as controversy rages in Germany over his acrimonious walk-out following the World Cup in Russia.
“We want to help all the players and Mesut to feel here with us like he's at home, like a family,” Emery, who is in his first weeks as Arsenal coach, said during a pre-season visit to Singapore. “We are every player's family and for him to work every day, to work well with his team-mates, is good for us... I'm very happy with him. I'm looking at every player and I think Mesut, he has here the respect of every player.”
Ozil, who was born in Germany to Turkish-origin parents, said he felt “racism and disrespect” - pointing the finger at German football authorities - in his no-holds-barred statement released over the weekend.
The 2014 World Cup-winner said he was unfairly maligned over Germany's group-stage exit in Russia, after some media highlighted a pre-tournament photo with Turkey's strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.