LONDON (AP) — Out-of-favor Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil wants to save Gunnersaurus from extinction.

Ozil expressed sadness on Tuesday after discovering that Jerry Quy — the man who fills the Arsenal dinosaur mascot — was made redundant by the London club after 27 years.

With fans not allowed into games since March, Gunnersaurus has been absent from the Emirates Stadium for matches. Even if the giant fluffy green mascot returns when spectators are allowed back, someone else could be inside.

“I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous & loyal mascot @gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years,” Ozil tweeted. “I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much.”

Ozil, who used the hashtag that read out “Justice for Gunnersaurus,” is one of Arsenal’s top-earning players — on more than $20 million a year.

But the German has not played since March, with Arsenal unable to offload him while trying to make cuts due to the financial impact of the pandemic — including 55 redundancies.


More AP sports: and