Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, who escaped unhurt after an attempted carjacking last month, were not in the squad for the team’s Premier League opener at Newcastle United due to “further security incidents”, the club said on Friday.
“Ozil and Kolasinac were not part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police,” an Arsenal spokesman told Reuters via email.
“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.”
Former Germany international midfielder Ozil was the target of an attempted robbery when he was driving his black Mercedes in North London on July 25.
His car was boxed in by motorbike riders wearing helmets and a video clip later emerged online showing Bosnian defender Kolasinac, who was a passenger, outside the vehicle and confronting the attackers.
“We’re liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support,” added the Arsenal spokesman.
“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.”
ARSENAL aces Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are now under 24-hour guard after being caught in the middle of a gang war.
Thugs tried to steal the aces’ watches in a moped raid last month, and now a rival gang of East Europeans has intervened in a bid to ward off further attacks.
But the local yobs will not be intimidated and two men were arrested at Ozil’s home last week — as Bosnian-born Kolasinac’s terrified wife fled to Germany.
The villains had warned the pair: “We’ll rob you of everything.”
Unknown to the Arsenal duo, East European goons put out word that such attacks on the players would not be tolerated.
A source said: “Word came back from the other gangsters that they would not be intimidated.
“To show they were serious, the thugs issued more threats to the Arsenal players and refused to be cowed.
“It was thought that originally the robbers wanted their watches but now they have been told that they want everything the pair have.”
Two men were arrested after turning up to Ozil’s £9million home near Hampstead Heath to confront him.
The pair, who are best pals, are now under 24-hour guard while police investigate.
There nightmare began last month when they were targeted as they drove through North London in German World Cup winner Ozil’s £100,000 Mercedes G Wagon car.
Eastern European gangsters then took it upon themselves to step in.
The source said: “Kolasinac has lots of friends in North London and the players are very popular.
“The attempted robbery was so brazen that it shocked a lot of people.”
But the backlash by the London gang saw cops called just before 11pm on Thursday to the house Ozil shares with 26-year-old wife Amine Gulse.
He married the former Miss Turkey in June, just a week before Kolasinac wed.
Thursday’s confrontation with security staff led to two men being held on suspected public order offences.
Incidents are also said to have taken place outside Kolasinac’s £8million home.
And there are also claims that the families of Ozil, 30, and Kolasinac, 26, have been targeted online.
“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.