(Reuters) - Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil must rediscover his best form in training to win back his place in the starting lineup, manager Mikel Arteta has said.
Ozil was a regular in Arteta’s lineup before the league was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the German was left out of the squad altogether at a game at Manchester City on Wednesday where Arsenal were defeated 3-0.
Arteta had said that the decision was “tactical”.
“I’m the first one who wants Mesut at his best. I’ll put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best,” Arteta told reporters ahead of a league game at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
“A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player. Sometimes they need a bit of time.”
Arteta said that he had no problems with Ozil after a “clear and honest” talk following his omission from the team.
“He was very well with me. There were no issues at all,” Arteta added. “My conversation with Mesut is going to remain with him and me. It was a clear and honest conversation.”
Arsenal are ninth in the league with 40 points from 29 matches.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa