Arsenal manager Unai Emery says “the key is in Mesut Ozil’s hands” as the midfielder tries to regain his first-team place.
Ozil is the Gunners’ highest-paid player, having signed a £350,000-a-week contract in 2018, but has started only 13 of 26 league games this season.
“He needs to be consistent in training and for matches, without injury or being sick,” Emery said.
“Like that, we can see the best Mesut with us.”
Ozil has played 216 times for Arsenal since joining from Real Madrid for a then club-record £42m in 2013.
But he has started only one game since Boxing Day, with injuries and “tactical reasons” given as explanations for the German’s absence during the campaign.
Last month, Emery defended his decision to leave Ozil out of the starting line-up and in December said the midfielder still has a future at the club.
The Gunners trail Bate Borisov 1-0 from the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie and speaking before Thursday’s second leg, Emery said:
“The key is in his hands and he is working very well this week.”
It’s a tough place for Arsenal who overpaid to keep Ozil last winter when Alexis Sanchez left to go to Manchester United. Ozil only wants to play for one of Europe’s big teams, but none of them are interested in a 30-year-midfielder who is on big money.
That makes it extremely difficult for Arsenal to loan or sell Ozil unless they are willing to write off most, if not all, of his contract.
What do you think Arsenal fans. Does Mesut Ozil have a future at Arsenal?