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'Mentally it was hard' – Kolasinac & Ozil keen to consign car-jacking horror to the past

09:14 BST 19/09/2019
Sead Kolasinac Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2018-19
The Arsenal pair were threatened by weapon-wielding thugs in July and the Bosnian wants to move on from the incident

Arsenal full-back Sead Kolasinac has admitted that an attempted car-jacking that involved team-mate Mesut Ozil back in July was "mentally hard", but did not want to go into specifics as he and the German look to put the nightmarish incident behind them.

The Gunners duo had been driving through London in Ozil's car when assailants armed with knives approached the playmaker's Mercedes. Ozil quickly left the scene, taking shelter in a nearby Turkish restaurant, while Kolasinac tried to fight off the criminals.

The players were ultimately unharmed, physically at least, but "further incidents" prompted round-the-clock security for both individuals, with both players also having to take time away from club duties due to concerns for their well-being. 

With the incident now a few months old, Kolasinac and Ozil are back in the fold for Unai Emery's side. And while the former admits that the incident was tough to stomach, the Bosnian says that he would rather focus on Thursday's Europa League clash than dwell on the past.

“I'm happy to be back,” the 26-year-old told the press. “Of course, mentally it was hard. 

“We also missed training for a couple of days. I made up for that [though]. I'm happy to be back with the team and [ready to] perform with them on the pitch.

“I don't want to talk about what happened in detail,” he added. “It happened and now it's something that belongs in the past. The same with Mesut.

“We are back and we are focused on our job and the team. We have a very important match ahead here in Frankfurt.”

Both players may have been available for Thursday's clash with Eintracht, but Unai Emery made the decision not to include Ozil in his European squad, the manager stating that he wants to rest the German despite the player having taken in only 71 minutes of action this term.

On that curious choice, Emery said: “We are playing a lot of matches now and I want to use different players and also have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad. Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match.

“I prefer after Sunday’s match [vs Watford for him] to rest and train to be ready for Sunday [against Aston Villa].”