Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has explained why the club's highest-paid player Mesut Ozil has not been afforded a game since March.
Ozil, 31, has been one of the biggest questions looming over Arteta since succeeding Unai Emery at the Gunners with the Germany international falling out of favour and often left out the matchday squad.
Despite not having any injuries, Arteta has suggested his level of intensity and style of play does not warrant selection to his squad that's shown notable improvements in the early stages of the 2020/21 season.
Scroll through the gallery below to see where Ozil ranks amongst the PL's highest-paid superstars
"The team is evolving, you can see the level they are achieving," he told SkySports. "This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better. We need to keep maintaining that.
"I'm really happy with the performance here, how difficult they're making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.
"We are picking the players that we believe are the best for each game. You can see we keep training, it's what we're trying to do.
"You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it's very difficult every week - not [just] for Mesut - but for some other players as well to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.
"Of course I understand and I respect your questions, but I have to try to do my job as fair as possible. I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition."