Mesut Ozil: Why has the ex-Arsenal midfielder been suspended by Fenerbahce?

Fenerbahce have suspended star midfielder Mesut Ozil, along with his teammate Ozan Tufan.

The Turkish giants released a very brief statement to their website to announce the decision. “Our Football A team players Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tufan were excluded from the squad as per the decision taken.

“It is announced to the public.”

Fenerbahce’s decision to not give a reason for the players’ exclusions has further fuelled speculation as to why it happened.

The club suspended Ozil following their 2-1 win over Konyaspor. Fenerbahce came back from 1-0 down, with goals from Kim Min-Jae and Dimitris Pelkas.

Mesut Ozil’s form this season

The 2014 World Cup winner has had a strong season so far in Turkey. Despite missing a month of action, Ozil has scored nine goals in all competitions in the 2021/2022 campaign, his best return since his 2016/2017 season with Arsenal.

In addition, the midfield maestro has contributed two assists. His efforts have helped Fenerbahce to third place in the Turkish Super Lig table, although they are 17 points behind leaders Trabzonspor.

Ozil appears to have adapted to life in Turkey after a tough first season with Fenerbahce. He played just 10 times in 2020/21, providing just one assist. However, his recent suspension from the first-team squad may signal the end of his stay at the club.

Mesut Ozil suspended: why has it happened?

Reports from Turkish broadcaster Volkan Demir at the start of the month claimed that Ozil might be on strike over a wage dispute. Fenerbahce’s overwhelming debt could signal difficulty to pay their players. However, the club vehemently denied the claim.

Instead, football.london report that the club suspended Mesut Ozil and Ozan Tufan after an argument with manager Ismail Kartal. The new boss, appointed in January, subbed off Ozil at half-time in their last game. Both he and Tufan reportedly argued about a lack of playing time.

Fenerbahce have excluded the pair indefinitely. As well as missing matches, they will no longer train with the first team.

As Kartal is an interim boss, Ozil may have the chance to return to first-team action if a new manager is appointed. And Fenerbahce have no problem with changing their manager.

The Turkish side have had an astonishingly long list of managers throughout their recent history. Since Aykut Kocaman left at the end of the 2012/2013 season, Fenerbahce have employed 14 different managers, including seven different head coaches since March 2020.

This revolving door of management may give the German opportunity to play again. If Kartal is at Fenerbahce full-time, Mesut Ozil’s suspension may signal the end of his time in Turkey.

Featured Image Credit: Getty