Arsenal boss Unai Emery has revealed that he simply decided against playing Mesut Özil against Chelsea on Saturday, despite the 30-year-old being fit and ready for action.
Özil was an unused substitute during Arsenal's 2-0 win over Chelsea, and Emery has insisted that Özil was fit to take part but instead decided to go without the German during the game.
Özil has endured a difficult season thus far, only making 16 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions. The German playmaker has been subject to a move away from the Emirates for some time now and despite his lack of game time Emery has stated that he will be needed for a difficult run of fixtures.
Speaking to the Express, Emery said. “He was OK to play but we decided not to play him.
“I spoke with him. I wanted him to be ready for the match today and for the next matches with the spirit like all the players in the team.”
Özil has not appeared in the Premier League since the Boxing Day draw away to Brighton. Although Özil has been continuously linked with a move away from the Emirates, Arsenal boss Emery has every belief that the German can still remain an important player for the remainder of their season.
He continued, “Today I have the confidence with him if he played. I think he could do like we wanted
“The next matches we are going to need every player and also his quality.”
Özil has played over 200 games for the north London club but may have to fight to put himself back into the limelight at the Emirates. Arsenal are next in action in the FA Cup for one of the ties of the round as they host Manchester United under the floodlights on Friday.