Unai Emery sends message to Mesut Ozil ahead of Arsenal v Southampton
Unai Emery delivers an update on Mesut Ozil's situation at Arsenal this season
Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil to keep on performing as he did on Thursday night after Arsenal’s 3-0 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League.
The 30-year-old’s situation at The Emirates has been a constant source of speculation in recent weeks due to his lack of playing time under Emery this season.
Ozil has struggled with form and fitness issues and has failed to hold down a regular place in the first team at Arsenal this season under the club’s new manager.
The playmaker featured for the full 90 minutes on Thursday night as Arsenal booked their place in the Europa League last 16 with a comfortable win in front of their home fans.
It remains to be seen whether Ozil has done enough to earn a regular starting spot back in the Arsenal side this season.
However, Emery was clearly happy with what he saw from the former Real Madrid man in Thursday’s game.
Speaking at his post-match news conference, Emery said: “Well, I said to him to carry on and be available like today and the last two weeks to continue training and helping us. Today I am happy and this is the way we want with him.
“He needs to be available and carry on. He wants to do this and today he showed what he wants. If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us.
“His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, like with Guendouzi and Micki and Iwobi in the attacking third.
“I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.”
Arsenal will host Southampton at The Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon as they look to continue their push for a top-four finish.
The Gunners currently find themselves in fifth place in the table as they chase Champions League qualification this season.