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
Thursday 27 February 2014
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."
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