Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has spoken out for the first time about the terrifying knife attack on him and Mesut Ozil.
Kolasinac and Ozil were attacked by knife-wielding carjackers in north London last month, with video footage remarkably showing the former jumping out of the car and bravely chasing off the thugs.
The players were subsequently withdrawn from the squad for the Gunners’ Premier League opener at Newcastle due to ‘further security incidents’.
Kolasinac is now back in the first-team, while Ozil has managed just 71 minutes all season as he started his first game in the 2-2 draw at Watford on Sunday
And the Bosnian full-back, talking ahead of the Europa League opener with Eintracht Frankfurt, has admitted it was mentally tough to get back into football following the incident.
“Well, of course I’m happy to be back. Of course mentally this was hard, missing also training for a couple of days,” Kolasinac told the media.
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“I made up for it. I’m back and happy to be back with the team and able to perform with them on the pitch with the team.
“About what happened I don’t want to talk about it in details. It’s happened and it’s something that belongs to the past. The same with Mesut.
“We are back and we focus on our job and team. We have a very important match ahead here in Frankfurt.”
Arsenal boss Unai Emery offered up the rather bizarre excuse that Ozil was instead being rested alongside Sokratis Papastathopoulos – who has played every minute of the opening five Premier League games of the season.
“We are playing now a lot of matches and I want to use different players and also can have some rotation in the first 11 and in the 19 players in the squad for tomorrow and Sokratis and Mesut they rest this match,” he said.
“I prefer after the Sunday match to rest that match and to train and to be ready for Sunday.
“Because we are going to play another match on Sunday. My decision is because he played and also I’m thinking tomorrow the focus and the first 11.
“After that I decided who are the players who can be the best for tomorrow and also the players not and that is Sokratis and Mesut.
“Really the first match he played on Sunday, he played well and was good physically – also giving us his capacity and skills and after his first minutes (of the season) it was good for us.
“Now he is ready to help us, not tomorrow but on Sunday – we are going to play another match and tomorrow we are thinking to do some rotation.”