Mesut Ozil returned to the Arsenal side as they secured safe passage into the last 16 of the Europa League – but head coach Unai Emery insists he is not certain of a regular place in his team.
The Gunners went into the second leg against BATE Borisov needing to complete a comeback following a surprise 1-0 defeat in Belarus last week.
They responded well and won 3-0 courtesy of a Zakhar Volkov own goal and headers from defensive duo Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.
Emery opted to recall Ozil having left him at home for the first leg – with the highest-paid player in the club’s history relegated to a peripheral role in recent weeks and making just his second start since Boxing Day.
Despite a run of indifferent form, Emery has told Ozil he needs to shake off his minor injuries and illness to be more consistent.
The former Germany international put in a good showing against BATE and played the whole 90 minutes, although Emery said after the game that he cannot guarantee Ozil he will stay in the team long-term.
“Today he showed what he wants,” he said.
“If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us.
“His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.”
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