Arsenal news: Ozil is major doubt with sickness that could see Vermaelen return

News from The Emirates this morning including Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen and Andre Villas-Boas.

Arsenal fans were very excited to see the club’s record signing Mesut Ozil make an appearance in the match against Sunderland this afternoon, but they might be left sick to the stomach.

Because Ozil is!

It was revealed yesterday evening that Ozil missed the Friday training session after arriving at the London Colney training ground feeling under the weather.

He is expected to undergo a fitness test this morning to decide whether he is fit enough to feature today. Either way, the £42.5 million man is likely to start from the bench now after his sickness.

Per Mertesacker is however believed to be suffering much more than his German counterpart and former Werder Bremen team-mate with a similar problem, which the two perhaps caught whilst on international duty with the German side.

He is expected to miss the tie entirely with his illness, leaving Arsenal short at the back at The Stadium of Light.

With that in mind it is looking more and more likely that Thomas Vermaelen will be rushed back into action from his persistent back problem to cover for the German. The Belgian returned to training this week and was already expected to feature in some shape or form against The Black Cats - even if it was from the bench.

However it now appears he could even be thrown in from the start should Mertesacker fail to recover in time.

Otherwise Bacary Sagna will likely move to central defence with Carl Jenkinson entering the fold at right back.

Meanwhile North London rival boss Andre Villas-Boas of Tottenham has aimed a shot at Arsenal over their signing of Ozil - saying they overpaid for the German international.

While he was in no doubts over the ability of the German international, he was keen to stress they have paid too much for him:

"Real Madrid sold a player for €50m, a wonderful, gifted footballer, and in the end Arsenal paid heavily for a player of that dimension. It's a €50m transfer for a No.10 that nobody has any doubt over his ability. They have lots of players for that position also but they have become even stronger with Ozil. The fact that Real Madrid sold him to Arsenal for that price, we can't say anything – we are happy with what we have.’’


image: © lodekka

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