Arsenal manager Unai Emery was hesitant to discuss why Mesut Ozil missed out against Manchester United on Monday night.
As the team news came out for the Premier League blockbuster at Old Trafford, the German midfielder was a glaring omission from the Gunners’ team-sheet with many assuming he must have picked up a late injury.
However, Emery later confirmed this was not the case during his pre-match interview with Sky.
“Yes, he is not [playing] today,” Emery said bluntly on Ozil’s absence.
When pressed further and asked whether the decision was tactical and not due to injury, he confirmed: “No, today I decided that eleven and that squad.”
With Ozil missing, the Arsenal midfield consisted of Lucas Torreira, Mateo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka.
Asked why Torreira had come in to make just his second league start of the season, Emery replied: “It’s because he deserves it from the last matches.”
The manager concluded by addressing Bukayo Saka’s inclusion, on which he said: “We are helping him and helping the young players.
“When the performance is good, we can give him chances to play. Today is another challenge for him, he is playing well.”