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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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Arsenal pair to miss Premier League opener after 'further security incidents'

Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were last month caught up in an attempted car-jacking in north London.

Kolasinac and Ozil won't travel to St James' Park on Sunday.
Kolasinac and Ozil won't travel to St James' Park on Sunday.
Image: Nigel French

ARSENAL STARS MESUT Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will miss their side’s Premier League opener at Newcastle on Sunday after ‘further security incidents’ involving the pair.

Ozil and Kolasinac were caught in an attempted car-jacking in north London last month, with Gunners defender Kolasinac leaping from the vehicle to confront the knife-wielding raiders while Ozil sped off to safety.

A statement from Arsenal said: “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.”

Neither featured in the Emirates Cup pre-season defeat against Lyon just days after the initial incident, with Arsenal manager Unai Emery admitting they had not been in the right frame of mind after the confrontation.

Ozil’s car was blocked by the moped-riding thieves, who then brandished weapons before Kolasinac forced them to back off while locals near his home in the Childs Hill area of the city came to the pair’s aid.

German midfielder Ozil and Bosnian left-back Kolasinac had both featured in Arsenal’s final friendly at Barcelona and were expected to be in contention to face Newcastle at St James’ Park.

The suggestion of new incidents involving the players will be hugely concerning and the Arsenal statement added: “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.”

© AFP 2019  

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