As Arsene Wenger delivered his team news ahead of the Premier League clash against Aston Villa on Sunday, our lack of options out wide quickly became evident.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still sidelined with a groin problem and Alexis Sanchez is unlikely to be risked with a hamstring injury. Danny Welbeck is back in training but Wenger said next week’s North London derby is a more likely return for the 24 year-old.
With Theo Walcott gradually returning to full fitness, we’re suddenly lacking in options on the flanks. Walcott may well start again having put in an encouraging performance against Brighton in the FA Cup last week, but a place on the left-hand side remains up for grabs.
Step forward Mesut Ozil. Our record signing may have to accept a place on the left of the midfield with Santi Cazorla the main creative hub of our team and in outstanding form. Having put in extra work on his upper-body strength, Ozil should be ready to put in a shift defensive, regardless of where he is on the pitch. Cazorla demonstrated exactly that against Man City a fortnight ago.
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Wenger recently hinted that Ozil’s place in the team may well be on the wing (via Independent)
“In our team anyway it is very flexible – when you play on the flank, to move inside. Usually we have one player who is a raw winger and one player who is more a midfield player out there.”
During Ozil’s three months out, Cazorla has become our main man and the Emirates faithful will become baffled should the Spaniard be shunted out wide to accommodate Ozil. Therefore, the German World Cup winner must show the guile and industry we all know he’s capable of to fit into a team which has recently hit top form.