'Security incidents' see duo miss Arsenal opener
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, who escaped unhurt after an attempted carjacking last month, are not in the squad for the team's Premier League opener at Newcastle United on Sunday due to "further security incidents," the club said on Friday.
"Ozil and Kolasinac will not be 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."
"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."
Ozil and his wife Amine Gulse were unharmed after being the targets in the incident, a sourced had previously told ESPN FC. The incident occurred when the two were pulling up to the home of Kolasinac, according to the source, when two assailants approached the car brandishing knives.
In video of the event, Kolasinac can be seen fending off the masked aggressors, with the source saying that Ozil stayed in the car to protect his wife.
Ozil then sped off and was followed by the attackers for about five minutes before arriving at Likya, a Turkish restaurant he likes to frequent in the nearby area of Golders Green, the source said. Employees of the restaurant emerged to help Ozil and confront the attackers.
A report on Saturday by Goal stated that two men were arrested outside of Ozil's home on Thursday night in connection to different incidents which led to the decision to withdraw the players from the weekend's squad.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.