Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac face carjacking gang
Two Premier League footballers have been involved in a carjacking attempt by an armed gang in a London street.
Arsenal players Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were targeted, the club confirmed, but both escaped uninjured.
Footage on social media appears to show Kolasinac chasing the robbers in Platts Lane, near Golders Green, at about 17:00 BST.
Arsenal said in a statement: “We have been in contact with both players and they are fine.”
In a video that has circulated on social media, full-back Kolasinac is seen fighting off two men who are wielding knives.
The player can be seen jumping out of a vehicle to confront the masked men who had pulled alongside the car on mopeds.
In the footage, both carjackers were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at 26-year-old Kolasinac.
Eyewitness Simon Collins 46, of Golders Green said he saw two men on mopeds chasing the wagon on Finchley Road.
“They had roof tiles in their hands and were all blacked up, ninja-style. I think the intention was to smash the tiles through the wagon window.
“They were proper masked up, nasty types with no plates on the mopeds.”
Broadcaster and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan tweeted that Kolašinac should be made captain with “immediate effect following the incident”.
Former Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters also tweeted in support of Kolašinac, calling him a “proper player”.
‘High-profile cars targeted’
The owner of a London property near where the players were attacked said he had been targeted five times in the same area.
The man, who did not want to be named, said he had a knife held to his neck in one incident.
He urged police to act after what he said was a spate of crimes in that part of north-west London.
He said: “I had a knife held to my neck at midday at the traffic lights, I was physically thrown in a bus lane at 06:30 when I was coming out of my office – the list goes on and on.”
Asked about the incident involving Arsenal players, a Met Police spokesman said: “It was reported that suspects on motorbikes had attempted to rob a man who was driving a car.
“The driver, along with his passenger, managed to get away unharmed and travelled to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they were spoken to by officers.”
Kolasinac and midfielder Ozil are not the first footballers to be targeted on London’s roads.
In 2016, then West Ham striker Andy Carroll was threatened at gunpoint on his way home from training.