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Unai Emery: Mesut Özil’s future “in his own hands”

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The coach addresses the Özil situation.

Arsenal FC v Cardiff City - Premier League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

I’m not sure it counts as a response to Mesut Özil’s Instagram post from the other day, but Unai Emery today addressed the situation between Özil and the club...sort of. When asked, inevitably, about what was going on in his Europa League press availability event today, the boss had this to say:

“He’s working very well this week and I asked him in our conversation to be consistent, to be available for training. I said that when you can train with us consistently you can help us with your best performance in the games.”

Emery blamed Özil’s absences on “minor injuries, poor performances and frequent bouts of unspecified illness”, and also suggested that Özil hasn’t been doing enough, or doing well enough, when he is in training:

I am looking at him doing the training like we want. I know he wants that but he needs consistency, to be available for training and the matches without injuries, without being sick.

Emery did say he was “working well this week”, which may open the door for a return this weekend against Southampton on Sunday, but it does not sound like he will feature in tomorrow’s Europa League match against BATE Borisov.

Whether or not Özil is in a money-lined “comfort zone” is up for debate, but it sounds like Emery is leaving the door wide open for Özil to come back and become a fully productive member of the squad again, should he want to. Sounds like it’s Özil’s move, now.