Arsenal manager Unai Emery insists he is happy with Mesut Ozil’s progress after a slow start to the new campaign.
Ozil has made just two appearances for the Gunners so far this season, with one coming in the Premier League and the other in the Carabao Cup, while also appearing on the bench on two other occasions.
When will Ozil play for Arsenal again? Five things to know…
- Mesut Ozil has made just two appearances for Arsenal this season, receiving 142 minutes.
- Just one of those appearances have come in the Premier League, with Ozil also making the bench twice.
- But Unai Emery insists Arsenal will need Ozil for certain matches in the upcoming weeks.
- Ozil has had a tough time under Emery, making 37 appearances across all competitions since the start of last season.
- Arsenal face Sheffield United on Monday before returning to Europa League action against Vitoria next Thursday..
It continues the former Germany international’s frustrating spell since Emery replaced Arsene Wenger at the Gunners helm, with Ozil making just 37 appearances across all competitions from the start of the 2018/19 season.
Despite this, Emery insist Ozil remains very much in his plans, having shown improvements in training over the past few weeks.
“With Mesut this year started difficulty for him,” Emery told reporters.
“He worked well in pre-season and was playing matches in pre-season but the problem that happened with Sead [Kolasinac] stopped that.
“After that problem he was sick for a week and then he lost out on a lot of training to continue working on keeping his fitness. But really the last two to three weeks he has improved with us in training.
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“I didn’t close the possibility for him to play because I want [to see] if he is ready with an availability, training and giving us good feeling, he can play.
“My idea is to use every player and he is one in the squad who can help us.
“He also has very big skills, quality we will need in the next matches. I am happy how he is improving, training every day and he is one player more in the squad.
“Before, there were other players ahead of him in training. Now, I feel really good about him.”
Emery’s change of heart
Although Emery did not guarantee Ozil a place in Monday’s matchday squad to face Sheffield United, the Spaniard’s latest statement shows signs of improvement since leaving out the no.10 for a recent Europa League clash.
“I am thinking every time to decide with the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and help us,” Emery said after Arsenal’s Europa League win over Standard Liege at the start of October.
“When I decided he isn’t in the squad, it is because I think another player deserves it more.”
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