Arsenal announced their squad for the upcoming Europa League group stages on Thursday morning, with Mikel Arteta deciding there was no room for new-boy William Saliba or Mesut Ozil.
The Gunners were drawn against Rapid Wien, Molde and Dundalk in last Friday’s group stage draw, with their campaign set to get underway later this month.
Football London’s James Benge reported on Wednesday that defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Ozil were poised to be the two left out of Arteta’s squad due to the competition’s quota regarding non-homegrown players.
Clubs are only allowed to name 17 such players in their respective squads but Arsenal currently boast 19, meaning two would miss out – which are confirmed to be the Greek and German internationals.
Sokratis has been left on the periphery by Arteta since the Spaniard’s arrival last December, while Ozil hasn’t been seen in an Arsenal shirt since he started the 1-0 win over West Ham in what was their final game before lockdown last season.
When asked recently about Ozil’s persistent omissions, the Arsenal boss said: “The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving.
“This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.”
The Gunners also opted against naming the injured Gabriel Martinelli and teenager Saliba in their squad.
The latter’s short-term future is currently uncertain after he failed to secure a loan return to France before the recently closed transfer deadline. Although, he could yet join a Championship side for the 2020/21 campaign in a bid for regular first-team minutes.
Martinelli, meanwhile, isn’t expected to return from a knee injury until 2021 after undergoing surgery in June.
Neither can be named on the B list of young players and academy prospects as they have not been with the squad for more than two years.
Instead, top young prospects including Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock will be named on the club’s B list.
You can see Arsenal’s full Europa League squad here.