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Transfer Rater: Havertz, Sarr to Arsenal

Football Whispers
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Unai Emery respects Mesut Ozil's Germany decision, says Arsenal is his 'home'

Shaka Hislop takes aim at Uli Hoeness' 'misdirected' criticism of Mesut Ozil and the Bayern president's 'lack of understanding' of the situation.
Raf Honigstein says Lothar Matthaus and Uli Hoeness missed the point with their comments on Mesut Ozil's decision to quit the German national team.

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery told reporters on Wednesday he respects Mesut Ozil's decision to retire from international football due to what the German midfielder said was "racism and disrespect" because of his Turkish roots.

Ozil was the target of criticism for his performances during Germany's disappointing World Cup in Russia, as well as for his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.

Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, a teammate also of Turkish descent who posed with Erdogan as well, were jeered by German fans in warm-up games before the tournament began.

Erdogan said on Tuesday the treatment of Ozil was racist and unacceptable.

The 29-year-old's decision to quit has triggered a bad-tempered public debate in Germany about its relations with its largest immigrant community.

"It's a personal decision [which] I respect," Emery told reporters in Singapore a day before Arsenal play Atletico Madrid in the preseason International Champions Cup tournament.

Emery, who in May became the Premier League side's first new manager in 22 years after Arsene Wenger stepped down, said Ozil felt at home with Arsenal.

"We are like his home. We are like his family ... We are going to help him to feel good," Emery added.

Ozil has not commented about his decision since his arrival in Singapore on Monday with Arsenal.

Arsenal will also play Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday in the tournament.

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