The 31-year-old played only his third game of the season in midweek against Liverpool, but his coach indicates that he may return the fold again soon
Mesut Ozil’s midweek performance in the Carabao Cup for Arsenal may have paved the way for a much-need Premier League recall, suggests manager Unai Emery.
The 31-year-old featured for only the third time this team as the Gunners were edged out on penalties at Anfield, but left a keen impression before his substitution just beyond the hour mark.
Speculated reports have pointed towards a worsening relationship between the German and his coach as to why Ozil has barely featured across a difficult campaign.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s key top-flight encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers, however, Emery has indicated that the attacking midfielder may feature once more.
In particular, the Spaniard alluded to a greater attitude from Ozil in training as key to his prospective return to the fold once again, having last played in the Premier League in September’s draw with Watford.
”He has been in the squad and I think he has the possibility to play,” Emery said.
”I spoke with him on Tuesday. I said to him every time what has been my plan with him. When he’s available, when he’s training well, when he’s consistent, when he’s positive he can help us a lot.
”Now I am seeing him positive and consistent. On Wednesday with his performance in Liverpool, I think this has been the way we want. Also I am helping him, supporting him, demanding of him. This has been the Mesut I think everybody wants.
“He has big experience. When you talk about players who are ready to play under high pressure, one has been Mesut Ozil.
“I think he has confidence and I think he has respect. When he has been in that positive way, when he has been available consistently, he has the respect from us and from every supporter.”
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Emery remains under fire from supporters for failing to deliver results this season in emphatic fashion, despite the club sitting fifth in the table.
The continued furore over captain Granit Xhaka’s relationship with fans has cast a pall over the Emirates Stadium in recent weeks.
Following their clash with Wolves, Arsenal travel to Portugal to face Vitoria in the Europa League, where victory would all but assure them of a place in the next round.