Mesut Ozil: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reveals the 'refreshed' £42.5m playmaker is back in the squad and ready to face Stoke in the Premier League this weekend

German international returns to the side for Saturday's match

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The Independent Football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Mesut Ozil, who missed the Gunners' 4-1 victory over Sunderland last weekend, is back in the squad for the trip to Stoke City on Saturday.

The official reason given for German playmaker's absence against Sunderland was a dead leg, although the club's record signing has struggled in England over the last few weeks, and his last appearance was a below-par effort against Bayern Munich, in which his tame penalty was saved by international team-mate Manuel Neuer in the 2-0 Champions League last-16 first-leg defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

"Ozil had a difficult game [against Bayern Munich]," Wenger said. "It's good to refresh when you are under pressure."

Both of the club's two left-backs Nacho Monreal (foot) and Kieran Gibbs (muscular) are doubts, but Thomas Vermaelen, who the centre-back who can also fill at left-back is back in the squad.

"If needed Thomas can play there (at left back), it's not his preferred position," the Frenchman said. "He's been out for a long time but I still have 48 hours to make that decision."