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11 Sep, 2019 18:35

Arsenal held ‘big discussion about London gang threat’ after Ozil & Kolasinac knife attack

Arsenal held ‘big discussion about London gang threat’ after Ozil & Kolasinac knife attack

Premier League club Arsenal held “a big discussion around gangs in London” following the attempted car-jacking involving Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac earlier this year, former captain Per Mertesacker has revealed.

Ozil and Kolasinac were targeted by knife-wielding thugs on a moped in July as the pair drove through central London in Ozil’s Mercedes.

In the terrifying incident, Bosnian defender Kolasinac was seen fighting off the attackers with his bare hands before the teammates sped off to take sanctuary in a nearby Turkish restaurant.

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

Former Arsenal captain Mertesacker, now the head of the club’s academy, has revealed that following the incident the club addressed the issue of the gang threat with players.

“There was a big discussion around gangs in London and the security matters,” Mertesacker told The Associated Press.

“The major part of what car you drive, what you wear in terms of your jewelry. So you need to be risk-aware in those days that anything can happen at any time. And these are examples you are trying to avoid.”

After the incident involving former German international Ozil and teammate Kolasinac, both were forced to miss several games as fears remained for their safety.

Two men were later charged in a separate incident involving the pair, amid reports that the players had become caught up in a gang war.

READ MORE: Two men charged over ‘security incident’ involving Arsenal’s Ozil and Kolasinac

Both have since returned to the Arsenal match-day squad, although Ozil has yet to make an appearance this season.

“Once these things happen it’s an eye-opener to where the world is in terms of poverty around London and how can we make sure that it is not going to happen again," Mertesacker added, as he promoted his autobiography, 'Big Friendly German'.

“When these things happen, the more fences, the more security guys and the more gates will eventually happen, that would be very, very sad.”

Next up for Arsenal are Watford away in the Premier League on Sunday.

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