Mesut Ozil has been given an ‘extended break’ by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to make sure he is fully fit for the rest of the season, reports claim.
Ozil was criticised for his poor performance in the Gunners’ humiliating 5- 1 defeat to Bayern Munich last week that left them on the verge of being knocked out of the Champions League.
The Times claims, however, that the German international has been playing with pain in recent weeks due to suffering from back spasms.
This is understood to be the reason why he was left out of Wenger’s squad for the trip to Sutton United in Arsenal’s 2-0 FA Cup victory.
With Arsenal’s next match against Liverpool not until March 4, Ozil will be allowed to spend some time in Germany and Turkey this week before returning to training.
Dr Erkut Sogut, who is Ozil’s agent, thinks the criticism of the 28-year-old in the defeat to Bayern was an overreaction.
“Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results,” he told BBC Sport.
“Bayern had 74% possession. How can someone in theposition create chances if you don’t have the ball?”