Hull v Arsenal: Mesut Ozil returns to give Arsenal a timely boost ahead of Premier League run-in and FA Cup final

Ozil took part in training on the eve of Arsenal's FA Cup final dress rehearsal with Hull

Arsenal’s top-four and FA Cup hopes were given a boost on Saturday by the sight of a refreshed Mesut Özil taking part in full training on Saturday, ahead of their final-rehearsal with Hull on Sunday.

The Gunners travel north to take on the Tigers with the two sides set to meet again at Wembley on May 17th for the FA Cup final. Ozil, the £42.5m club-record signing from Real Madrid, has not played since the Champions League last-16 exit at the hands of Bayern Munich when the German limped off at the Allianz Arena at half-time as he looked clearly off the pace.

Özil made an electric start to his Arsenal career, helping the club rise to the top of the Premier League table with their impressive form in the first half of the season. Since the turn of the year, the 25-year-old has looked distinctly off the pace, scoring just one goal in 13 appearances and has looked to have suffered from a lack of a winter break in the Premier League – something he has been used to in his career.

Arsene Wenger admitted on Thursday that Özil has gone through a jaded period, but tipped him to return from injury and set the final stages of their season alight.

 

So much so, that he has already predicted the attacking midfielder will be voted Player of the Season next year – a bold claim if ever by the Frenchman who may well leave the Emirates this summer as he continues to stall on a new contract.

Lukas Podolski, who scored twice in the 3-1 win over West Ham, trains alongside compatriot Mesut Özil Lukas Podolski, who scored twice in the 3-1 win over West Ham, trains alongside compatriot Mesut Özil Arsenal got their wish in seeing Everton slip-up in the 3-2 home defeat to a rejuvenated Crystal Palace side that has essentially secured their Premier League status with the victory, largely thanks to manager Tony Pulis’ efforts since replacing Ian Holloway.

Özil’s talent is unquestioned, and Arsenal supporters can also look forward to seeing him link up with fellow-midfielder Aaron Ramsey as the Welsh midfielder made his own return from a 14 week lay-off in the 3-0 defeat to Everton that looked to have cost them Champions League football next season.

The two were unstoppable in the first four months of the season and along with Olivier Giroud helped the Gunners to score 48 goals before Ramsey suffered the thigh strain on Boxing Day that kept him sidelined for over three months.

Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Mesut Özil and Tomas Rosicky attack Matieu Flamin as the Arsenal players joke around in training Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Mesut Özil and Tomas Rosicky attack Matieu Flamin as the Arsenal players joke around in training However, with Özil all smiles at the club’s London Colney training base, the north London club could finally end their nine-year trophy drought next month. Who’d have thought that two weeks ago.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Night job: Pacha nightclub DJ, Joan Ribas, is the new kingmaker on the island
news
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family
film'I survived it, but I’ll never be the same,' says Arash Amel
Life and Style
Retailers should make good any consumer goods problems that occur within two years
tech(and what to do if you receive it)
Life and Style
healthIf one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada