Unai Emery has laid down the law to Mesut Ozil after informing the midfielder that he will play where Arsenal need him to after coming back into contention for a starting berth against Cardiff.
After a week of speculation that Emery and Ozil, 29, had fallen out, the Arsenal boss dismissed such suggestions as he voiced his desire for his highest paid player to be flexible across various positions on the pitch instead of only seeking his preferred number 10 role.
Ozil has been the talk of the town after being substituted against Chelsea a fortnight ago before missing the victory over West Ham through illness, but Emery has looked to diffuse the situation after news broke of an alleged rift between the pair.
“The news is not true. In my career, I do not stop for news when it’s not true. When the news isn’t true, it isn’t true,” the Gunners boss said, via the Mirror.
“He’s training normally with the group, in every session this week. He’s OK. After this, it’s about where he is better for us and also about the opposition’s style of play.
“I like the possibility to have the player play different positions on the pitch. It depends each match and is the same for other players too. For that, Mesut has played with me on the right wing and also as No 10 and we are going to continue to do that.
“Mesut in his career, he played as a ten and on the right - when he was playing at Real Madrid, I remember a lot of matches on the right.
“His quality is for playing between the lines. But I spoke with him for his best position on the pitch and I know he can play right and as a ten. And he wants that I can use him for two positions.
“Our demands are very high, very great, but I want to ask every player every day to give us more,” Emery continued. “Not just Mesut, the team, the squad. We need to push, we need to have ambition, we need to have desire to improve every day. This is my message for the team, for the squad and for every player.”
Arsenal will look to continue their winning ways when they make the trip to Wales on Sunday to face newly promoted side Cardiff - with Ozil back in contention to feature.