Cape Town - Unai Emery says he plans to utilise
Mesut Ozil over the coming weeks after the German made an impressive
return to the Arsenal first-team against Liverpool.
Former Real Madrid star Ozil had been left out in the cold by Emery
over recent weeks, but he returned to the Arsenal fold for Wednesday’s
Carabao Cup fourth-round clash at Anfield, a match the Gunners lost on
penalties after it remarkably finished 5-5 at the end of 90 minutes.
Ozil was making just his third appearance of the season during the
match and first since September, but despite his lack of minutes he
appeared to be on top form, particularly when skilfully setting up one
of Arsenal’s goals for Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Emery was certainly happy with the 31-year-old’s display, admitting
he now plans to use him once again when the Gunners play host to Wolves
in the Premier League on Saturday.
"I think he played very well. Tonight, you’ve seen he is a skilful
player in the team and he was very positive every time and I think he
played a very good match," Emery told reporters after Wednesday’s game.
"We have a match on Saturday and we will look at the possibility to
use him again alongside other players and this is the way sometimes."
There was some surprise when Ozil was replaced by Matteo Guendouzi
midway through the second-half at Anfield, but Emery confirmed they had
always planned to make that substitution given the former German
international’s lack of minutes over the opening weeks of the season.
"We spoke before the match, and we made the decision in the second
half to take him off because he hasn’t played for a little while and we
want to keep his fitness as he was very tired but for him, it was great
to play 60/65 minutes," the Spaniard added.
Ozil has made nearly 250 appearances across all competitions since
joining Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013, but he continues to be a
player that divides opinion at the Emirates Stadium.
- TeamTalk Media