Mesut Ozil in limbo
Arsenal pay Ozil £350,000 a week but boss Unai Emery seems to think that he can’t be risked in the most demanding matches.
Ozil was left out of Saturday’s 5-1 trashing with a knee complaint, but the general consensus is he wouldn’t have played anyway. The last big game he started was against Liverpool at the Emirates on November 3.
Arsenal will expectedly give Mesut Ozil every chance of proving his fitness ahead of their New Year’s Day Premier League clash with Fulham.
“I don’t know if it’s big or not big, but it’s his knee,” said Unai Emery.
Ozil has now sat out 13 games in all competitions due to injury, illness, or as Unai Emery put it ahead of the Carabao Cup loss to Spurs, “tactical reasons”.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, Honigstein said he’d spoken to some ‘who should know’ about Özil’s situation with Emery.
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The source denied that there was any personal problem between the player and the coach, but added that whenever the German playmaker isn’t playing it’s because Emery ‘didn’t fancy him’ for the game.
For the most part, Emery hasn’t hidden that fact. He was very clear against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup that it was a ‘tactical decision’ to leave Özil out, and he said the same thing after taking the former Real Madrid star off at half-time against Brighton.
However, it does throw into doubt some of the other injury problems. Özil missed the defeat against Liverpool this weekend with a knee injury, according to Emery, but Honigstein’s source seems to be suggesting it’s just another tactical decision.
If the injury is real, David Ornstein appears to be suggesting it’s only a short-term problem. The BBC journalist’s tweet implied Özil was close to making it back in time for Liverpool, so with any luck, he’ll be back against Fulham.
Until his situation is cleared up one way or another, Arsenal fans will be left wondering what exactly is going on behind-the-scenes.
It is believed Ozil does not want to leave Arsenal and he likes living in London, but it appears he may struggle to win back his place on a regular basis.
Inter Milan and China have shown interest in the former Real Madrid player, but Arsenal know they might end up having to subsidise some of his enormous salary.
The January transfer window is just hours away. Find out the latest transfer news and rumours HERE.