Arsenal needs Mesut Ozil, says Emery

Mesut Ozil still has a crucial role to play for Arsenal this season, according to Gunners boss Unai Emery.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has not made a Premier League start since November 11.   -  Getty Images

Unai Emery insists Arsenal needs Mesut Ozil, despite the former Germany international's recent absence from the Gunners' first team.

Ozil has struggled to earn a place in Emery's XI in recent weeks and he was left out of the matchday squad all together for the midweek EFL Cup clash with rival Tottenham for "tactical" reasons.

The former Real Madrid man will return to the group against Burnley on Saturday, however, and Emery is keen for him to play a key role in the coming weeks.

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"I want every player with a good mentality to help us and give us their characteristics and quality," Emery told a news conference. "We need Mesut Ozil."

Asked if Ozil has a future at Arsenal, Emery replied: "Yes, why not?

"Every player wants to play and be OK to help the team when we need. The frustration is the same for everybody when they didn't play in a match.

"But I spoke with him and, with the regularity in the season, I am telling him what we need from him and he has the commitment to help us and the quality and the characteristics to help us when the team needs his moments in the pitch in one game.

"[On Saturday] he is in the 18 players, in the squad."

Ozil, who signed a lucrative contract renewal at Emirates Stadium last season, had a spell on the sidelines earlier this month and he has not started a Premier League game since November 11.

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However, he could be set for a key role against Burnley, with Emery confirming that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will miss out with injury.

"We know the latest news and Mkhitaryan is out," he said. "[Laurent] Koscielny is OK but he played two matches this week and [Saturday] will be a lot for him. We also need to be calm with him, to take time for a lot of matches before he continues playing.

"Sead Kolasinac, I think for [Saturday], is OK. Players are continuing to recover with Sead. Mkhitaryan is out. [Shkodran] Mustafi is also out."

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