Former teammate gives insight into Mesut Ozil’s Arsenal battle

Per Mertesacker admits Mesut Ozil faces an uphill battle to win his place back at Arsenal amid ongoing speculation over the German star’s future.

The playmaker has found himself kicking his heels in recent weeks after being left out of Unai Emery’s side as the Gunners have embarked on an impressive 22-game unbeaten run.

As such, rumours have grown that the player could be lured away from north London, amid claims Arsenal are ready to cash in on the former Real Madrid star.

Ozil did make his return to the side on Thursday during the 1-0 Europa League win over Qarabag, with his absence from the previous five games attributed to ‘back spasms’.

Now Mertesacker, who retired over the summer to take up a role with Arsenal’s academy, admits his former teammate faces a tough task reclaiming a regular place in the side – especially with Emery now favouring a 3-5-2 formation.

“Mesut is a player with magical abilities,” Mertesacker said. “Last time (in the Premier League; a 1-0 win at home to Huddersfield) he was injured.

“Now I’m curious how he fights back. He can still be very valuable to Arsenal.”

Emery, meanwhile, addressed speculation on Ozil’s future earlier in the week.

 

Get the latest personalised Arsenal products on our new TEAMtalk Gunners shop!