Arsenal boss Unai Emery has backed out-of-favour midfielder Mesut Ozil to come back into the fold, saying the German “has skills and qualities we will need”.
Ozil had a troubled build-up to the season after he and teammate Sead Kolasinac were involved in an attempted carjacking in July and, since then, the 31-year-old has struggled to settle back into the side.
The midfielder has been linked with an Arsenal exit after only having 142 minutes of action so far this term but he recently insisted that he wants to run down the remaining two years of his contract.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Emery echoed Ozil’s determination, saying: “With Mesut, this year started difficultly for him.
“His problem with Sead stopped his progression and then after that he was sick for a week. The last two or three weeks his training has improved. I haven’t closed the possibility of playing him.
“If he gives us a good feeling in training, he can play. He has skills and qualities we will need in the next matches.”
Emery also provided a positive update on the fitness of striker Alexandre Lacazette, who has been out of action since mid-September with an ankle problem.
“Today was his first session with us and he’s feeling well,” the coach said of the Frenchman.
“It depends on how he feels in the next days whether he’ll feature on Monday but it’s been positive. I don’t know if he will play 90 minutes or start on the bench.”
Arsenal travel to Bramall Lane on Monday to face Sheffield United, who performed well in their last match against a top-six side when they ran Liverpool close last month.