Mikel Arteta says it is his job to get the best out of Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi and everyone in his Arsenal squad when addressing whether the duo still have a part to play for the Gunners.
Ozil has yet to feature for Arsenal since football returned in England following the coronavirus-enforced break and has been named on the bench just twice in their four games.
A back injury was given as the reason for his absence in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final win against Sheffield United on Sunday, though Ozil continues to be linked with an exit from Emirates Stadium.
Guendouzi’s future is also in doubt after he was dropped from the squad that beat Southampton last week following his altercation with Neal Maupay in the defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
There have been suggestions Guendouzi could be sold during the next transfer window but head coach Arteta says it is his responsibility to ensure all players want to give their best for the cause.
“My job is to get the max out of everyone. If they are willing, everyone is welcome,” he said.
“I always hope players want to give their best.”
Last-minute limbs from @m8arteta!
Bench Cam returns in the #EmiratesFACup
More than seven minutes of unseen footage available to watch on Arsenal Player now
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) June 29, 2020
Pressed specifically on Guendouzi, Arteta says most young players have setbacks in their progression.
“When Arsenal picked him to come here it was because of the qualities he has,” he added.
“When you’re developing, you have some bumps like any other players.”
Ozil is a doubt to face Norwich City on Wednesday, as is centre-back David Luiz, who damaged his right knee in the win over the Blades.
“We don’t know [how bad his injury is]. He was in pain the other day when he had to leave the pitch. He is not a player that normally does that. He was uncomfortable,” Arteta added.
“We assessed him yesterday [Monday] and he was a bit better but we don’t know. He had a scan to do this morning to see how bad it is.
“He is very willing, he wants to play, he is always like that, but we will have to see.”
One player who is tipped to have a bright future at the Gunners is William Saliba, who was allowed to remain at Saint-Etienne on loan this season after Arsenal secured his signature for a reported £25million.
Though Ligue 1 was curtailed early in April due to the coronavirus pandemic, Saint-Etienne are due to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final on July 24.
Arteta wants Saliba’s loan to be extended to allow him to feature in that game and tempered expectations on the young centre-back for when he does link up with Arsenal.
“He needs to stay there,” Arteta said. “We have an agreement with Saint-Etienne. He has been there all year. He has earned his right to play in that final if his manager wants him to do that.
“We have to give him the opportunity to do that, to enjoy that. Then we can have him after that.
“I spoke with him a few times, he has been around a few times here as well.
“As a young player he has had a difficult season with the injuries he has had but it is part of his process.
“I know how high the expectations are for him for next year but we have to bear in mind the age he’s at and what he has done in the past and make sure we create the right environment for him so he can keep growing as a player.”