German midfielder Mesut Ozil has played just 18 Premier League games for Arsenal this season, starting 15 of them and it is safe to say manager Unai Emery isn’t a huge fan of his.
The 30-year-old has only completed a full game once across all competitions this year, and some are already tipping him for an Emirates Stadium exit this summer.
Ozil is Arsenal’s most-paid player and while there is the belief that Emery has issues with big players of such calibre, Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons the German only has to keep working hard if he is to become a permanent fixture in the manager’s starting XI.
“I don’t think Emery has a problem with ‘big name players’ at all. He was very respectful and had a good relationship with Neymar at PSG. He just wants his players to work hard for him,” the Spanish football expert exclusively told Islington Gazette.
“I don’t think he has a problem with Mesut Ozil at all. Juan Carlos Carcedo is his right hand man and Emery relies on him to be his eyes as well. Both of them will study the players in minute detail in training.
“If Emery sees that he doesn’t think he [Ozil] is working hard enough he won’t pick him. Do you think he would take him out of the team just because he doesn’t like him? No.”
Ozil started Arsenal’s last three games and it seems he is starting to impress Emery from the look of things.
Nevertheless, he has to do more if he is to hold on to his spot as he clearly hasn’t fully convinced the Spaniard enough given that he has been withdrawn in the last few minutes of all those games.
The north Londoners face teams below them in the table in their last eight league games of the campaign, while they have drawn Napoli in the Europa League quarterfinals.
Emery will fancy his side’s chances of making the top-four and also winning the Europa, and it will be interesting to see how much role Ozil plays in both campaigns.