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I'm staying at Arsenal until 2021 - Mesut Ozil

Mesut Ozil says he will be staying at Arsenal until the conclusion of his contract in the summer of 2021. Ozil has only featured in two of Arsenal's 11 games this season under head coach Unai Emery, and admits "watching from home" has made him "feel helpless".

But the attacking midfielder has told The Athletic he is going nowhere, saying: "I have a contract until the summer of 2021 and I will be staying until then.

"When I signed the new deal, I thought about it very carefully and said it was one of the most important decisions of my footballing career. I didn't want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit my future to Arsenal and the club wanted me to do the same.

"You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I'm not going to. I'm here until at least 2021."

Ozil has come under-fire among Arsenal fans for his absence on matchdays through illness, but has rejected suggestions he uses his health as an excuse.

"I also get really frustrated when I miss a game through illness and people question if it is genuine. Yes, it happened a few times - usually in the winter - but what am I supposed to do?

"If you knew me, you would know it takes a lot for me to miss a game and I have never used sickness as an excuse. Actually the opposite. I played many games when I was ill or had injuries.

"Most players don't play when injured or sick - it influences your game, you can't give everything - but I was always available unless it was impossible."

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