Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants Mesut Ozil to show consistency
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 20/02/19 3:07pm
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil he needs to be more consistent if he wants to break back into his starting line-up.
The German playmaker has started just once for the Gunners since Boxing Day after falling out of favour under Emery.
Former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admitted earlier this week the 30-year-old may have fallen into a comfort zone after signing a contract extension worth around £350,000 per week in February, 2018.
Emery sat down with Ozil to explain that he wanted to see greater effort from him in training and he has been pleased with the response this week.
"The key is in his heart. He is working very well this week and I asked him in our conversation to be consistent, to be available for us in training," Emery said, speaking ahead of Thursday's second leg against Bate Borisov in the Europa League round of 32.
"When you can train with quality and consistency, you can help with the best performances for us in games.
"Now, the way he is looking, is good for all the players because we are now in a big and an important moment for the season.
"I know he wants it but I need consistency, to be available in training and in matches without the injuries, without being sick.
"And that's when we will see the best Mesut with us."
Arsenal will be without the suspended Alexandre Lacazette as they look to turn around their Europa League round of 32 tie at home to BATE Borisov on Thursday night.
The striker was sent off late on in a 1-0 defeat to the Belarusian champions a week ago and will miss the return leg.
Aaron Ramsey is fit following a knee injury, while Danny Welbeck (ankle), Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding (both knee) remain sidelined and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is fighting an illness.