Arsenal will offer Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac psychological support if required after the pair were attacked by two men wielding knives near the latter’s home in Childs Hill, north-west London.
Both players are due to train as normal with the first-team squad on Friday having apparently shown no ill effects from the incident, which occurred 24 hours earlier. Footage of the attack showed Kolasinac jumping out of Özil’s 4×4 Mercedes G-Class to fight off the two men, standing his ground despite being threatened with a knife.
The players are understood to have then been pursued by their attackers, who were riding mopeds apparently without registration plates and whose faces were hidden by helmets, as they drove on to a Turkish restaurant in nearby Golders Green where staff came to their assistance.
Arsenal had been in close contact with the players on Thursday evening and confirmed that both, while shaken, had been unhurt. The pair reported to the club’s London Colney training centre on Friday for training and will be offered support of any kind they request. Kolasinac tweeted a picture of himself and Özil on Friday lunchtime with the caption: “Think we’re fine.”
A witness to the attack, Azuka Alintah, told the Daily Mail that Özil had spoken to police outside the restaurant. “Özil looked absolutely terrified, as anybody would after being chased by men with knives. He looked like he was running for his life. And I suppose he was. I saw him disappear into the restaurant with the motorcycle guys on his tail.
“They didn’t take off their helmets and were all in black, wearing long-sleeved tops in this hot weather. They stood out. As soon as the restaurant staff started to come to the window and to the doorway, they turned around and roared off.”
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police confirmed that no arrests had been made but “inquiries continue”.
Kolasinac and Özil are not the first London-based footballers to be targeted on the road. In 2016 the West Ham striker Andy Carroll was threatened at gunpoint on his way home from training.