Arsenal withdraw Özil and Kolasinac due to ‘further security incidents’

Duo who were targeted by car-jackers will miss Premier League opener in Newcastle

Sead Kolasinac  and Mesut Özil will miss Arsenal’s  opening Premier League game against Newcastle due to security fears. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire

Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil will miss Arsenal’s opening Premier League game against Newcastle due to security fears. Photograph: Nigel French/PA Wire

 

Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac will not play for Arsenal at Newcastle on Sunday after concerns about their security caused the club to withdraw them from contention.

Arsenal said police were investigating “further security incidents”, which come a fortnight after the players were targeted by car-jackers in north London, with security camera footage showing Kolasinac confronting the offenders after they approached Özil’s car – with the two players unhurt during the incident in Golders 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 Özil 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.” – Guardian

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