Arsenal manager Unai Emery has not closed the door on Mesut Ozil’s return to the starting lineup, and is looking forward to having him back once he is 100 percent fit.
The German has been ‘banished’ from the starting lineup much to the frustration of the club’s fans who still consider him as a key member of the side.
The former Real Madrid star has featured only twice for the Gunners in all competitions this season and is clearly way down the pecking order in Emery’s list.
However, ahead of their tie against Sheffield United on Monday night, Emery indicated he will be happy to welcome the playmaker.
“This year started difficult for him. He worked well in pre-season and was playing matches, but the problem that happened with Sead stopped that,” said the manager, referring to an attempted car-jacking in July with defender Sead Kolasinac.
“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,” Emery said.
“But really the last two to three weeks he has improved with us in training. I didn’t close to him the possibility to play… My idea is to use all the players and he is one who can help us.
“He also has very big skills and quality we will need in the next matches.”
Earlier on, in an interview with The Athletic, Ozil had indicated he had grown tired of warming the bench but said he will fight for his place as he still has two years left on his contract.
“I didn’t want to stay for just one or two more years, I wanted to commit my future to Arsenal and the club wanted me to do the same. You can go through difficult times, like this, but that is no reason to run away and I’m not going to.
“I’m here until at least 2021,”
Ozil has been linked with a move away from Arsenal in recent months, with AC Milan, Inter Milan and Fernahce all thought to be keen on signing him.
He joined Arsenal in 2013 September from Real Madrid, in the then club record.