After a lengthy lay off caused by injury, Arsenal’s record signing, Mesut Ozil returned from injury last Sunday against Stoke City when he came in as a substitute to replace Olivier Giroud in the second half at the Emirates. The Sun reports that the German international now faces a fight to get back into the team due to the form of players like Santi Cazorla, and Oxlade Chamberlain.
Ozil was thrown into the match in the final 17 minutes by Wenger, and though that was not enough time to assess his state of readiness, it certainly gladdened the hearts of all Gunners that their record signing is back.
While most of us never really expected the 26-year old to hit the ground running after not being able to play for the team for a couple of months (Ozil got injured last October); it remains to be seen how the German international battles to get himself back in the team. After the match, Wenger gave us a hint to the question running through our minds:
“Ozil is an exceptional football player who always gives you continuity in your game,” Wenger was quoted as saying in the Sun interview. “It has been a frustrating season for him because he has not contributed yet.
“It was not a convincing start for him. He played six games and scored one goal against Aston Villa. Now the opportunity is there for him to come back into the team and contribute.
“It is not going to be easy for him because Santi Cazorla is playing very well and Mesut faces a fight to get back to his best level.”
Prior to Ozil’s injury sustained in October, the German international was struggling for form, and came under heavy criticism of pundits and a lot of Arsenal fans who felt the 26-year old record signing was not giving his all to the team. Perhaps, not many fans have taken into consideration that Ozil was played out of his favourite position before his injury; but one only wonders if the manager would continue to play him there or simply shuffle things a bit to find a place for his midfield maestro. In his absence, Cazorla has been in blistering form, turning creator and scoring a couple of goals himself.