Arsenal sorcerer Mesut Ozil took to cyberspace to declare his rehabilitation from a serious knee injury is going better than anticipated and he’ll be back in full training ahead of the festive fixture pile up.
Good news indeed as the Gunners struggle for consistency without a raft of their first-choice assets available.
The German is one of nine players Arsene Wenger may have to do without for the north Londoners’ trip to Liverpool next, a match they’re unfathomable 6/4 favourites to win.
Ozil won’t be in contention at Anfield, but when he does return to match fitness, the club’s £42.5m record is sure to coast back into the starting XI.
Logic dictates that one of strike twosome Olivier Giroud or Danny Welbeck will be ousted to accommodate the former Real Madrid man, but given the success the duo are savouring in a front three with Alexis Sanchez of late, perhaps making room for him in a deeper berth would pay dividends.
The aforementioned trio looked quite the force in dismantling Newcastle last time out and given Liverpool’s defensive frailties, they could easily prove equally effective on Merseyside next.
Yet with a technician of Ozil’s calibre furnishing them with the ball from a more orthodox midfield position, they would be even an even more ferocious force.
His complete unwillingness to tackle and defend might compromise the Gunners when possession is in the hands of the opposition but, especially when attempting to break down small fries whose only focus is to snatch a point at the Emirates, this would be a hugely effective measure.
Mikel Arteta, as Arsenal’s premier defensive-midfielder and captain, would keep his place should they deploy this system, meaning regular partner Aaron Ramsey/Jack Wilshere would have to be sacrificed.
Both are sidelined too frequently to be depended on weekly, which makes building momentum around their obvious talents difficult.
Furthermore, the goals Ramsey bagged last term that made him undroppable haven’t been as forthcoming this time around, whereas Wilshere’s output in an attacking capacity is almost negligible.