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9 Aug, 2019 17:45

Knife-attack pair Ozil & Kolasinac to miss Arsenal Premier League opener due to security fears

Knife-attack pair Ozil & Kolasinac to miss Arsenal Premier League opener due to security fears

Arsenal pair Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac, who were targeted by a knife-wielding gang in London in July, will miss their team’s Premier League opener against Newcastle this weekend due to “further security incidents.”

The players were targeted by armed thugs on a moped in an apparent carjacking attempt as Ozil, 30, drove his Mercedes through the UK capital last month.

In dramatic footage, Kolasinac, 26, was seen getting out of the vehicle to fend off the attackers with his bare hands, before the footballers managed to speed off and take refuge in a nearby Turkish café. Ozil's wife was also reportedly in the car, and escaped with her husband and Kolasinac. 

Also on rt.com Mesut Ozil targeted by knife gang as teammate Kolasinac fights off attackers with bare hands (VIDEO)

The pair both subsequently indicated that they were fine despite their ordeal. They did not feature in Arsenal’s next two friendlies after the incident, but returned to play against Barcelona on Sunday.

READ MORE: Up for the fight: Arsenal star Sead Kolasinac tweets punch emoji after chasing away knife gang

However, the club announced on Friday that neither would be available against Newcastle this weekend, citing "further security incidents" and “the welfare of our players and their families.”

"Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will not be part of the squad for our opening match against Newcastle United following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police...," the club said.    

"We have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives.We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support.

"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."

Arsenal play Newcastle at St James Park on Sunday in their first game of the Premier League 2019-20 campaign.

Also on rt.com Mesut Ozil's home guarded by 'minders' following knife-wielding carjacking attempt