Mesut Ozil faces a race against time to be fit for the game with Norwich, but should they rest him for Borussia Dortmund a few days later?
Arsenal fans reacted with shock, indignation and pure terror when they heard the news that Mesut Ozil had limped out of action for the German national team against Sweden in mid-week. In fact it started a rather funny campaign, championing the biggest over-reactions to the news.
But it seems that Ozil is barely injured, and should be fit for the game against Norwich City this weekend.
Yesterday it was unclear if that was the case. Some sources claimed Ozil was 100% fine and he just suffered a barely bruised knee. Others however claimed he could face a spell on the side-lines, suggesting a hamstring problem was to blame.
The former seems true, so happy days Arsenal fans - but that does not mean he should play against Norwich City on Saturday, in fact, he probably shouldn’t.
Regardless of the severity of his injury, he is not going to be at 100% for the game. Norwich will also have to play quite a hard game to get anything positive from the Emirates. With a contusion to the knee already, another hard knock could leave him side-lined again.
Which brings up the main point - surely he is worth resting ahead of the Champions League tie against Borussia Dortmund on the 22nd.
Santi Cazorla is back in training, and Wenger will want to see what the Spaniard has to offer. So why not bring him in from the start - leaving Ozil on the bench to recover, unless desperately needed.
Even if Cazorla does need to come off, Wenger would do well to keep Ozil off the pitch. The likes of Ryo Miyaichi or Serge Gnabry could do a job as youngsters, while Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere could also form the attacking midfield- with Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini ready to do some protecting in front of the back four.
Ozil’s class and experience of the German game makes him an invaluable subject ahead of the meeting with Dortmund next week - so absolutely no risk should be taken with their marquee player.
No matter how fast he has recovered.
Do you think Ozil should play?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald