Arsenal technical director Edu has offered Mesut Ozil a lifeline by insisting that any player who performs well enough in training can win a place in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Ozil did not play a minute of football for Arsenal after the Premier League’s restart in June and played no part in the Community Shield against Liverpool a fortnight ago, although he did feature in a behind closed doors friendly.
He is Arsenal’s best-paid player on £350,000-a-week and the club have been attempting to move Ozil on for much of the period since he agreed the contract in January 2018 but the former Germany international has been publicly and privately insistent that he is prepared to see out the final 10 months of his terms.
Ozil’s presence leaves Arteta with something of a dilemma. Whenever his side lack the creativity and vision to unlock defences he is certain to be asked about his No.10’s absence, as was the case in defeat to Aston Villa last season.
Equally there are certain defensive and schematic allowances that have to be made in a team with Ozil in the side. If he is to convince Arteta that they are sacrifices worth making Edu insists he must do so on the training pitch.
“We are talking of course about performance,” he said. “Players with performance in training, the game, they are going to have opportunities because Mikel already showed that.
“It is for everyone. We know how important everybody is. I know how important and how big the player is when you mention Mesut but in the end ,we are talking about performance here.
“If he is performing well, people are performing well, who is the best in the training, the best in the game, I’m sure Mikel is going to select them to be in the squads to play games or to be on the bench.”
Ozil has declared himself available for Arsenal’s trip to Fulham on Saturday and has been involved in training this week.