Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has had to make a very difficult decision today regarding his record signing Mesut Ozil.
Ozil has been out of touch recently, looking unfit and tired from his first Premier League experience. And after he started four games in the last 11 days Wenger was reportedly ready to rest the player for the visit of Sunderland this afternoon.
Now it appears he has gone one further.
The general consensus was that Ozil would start from the bench - but Goal.com’s resident Arsenal expert Wayne Veysey - who is rarely wrong on these matters - has revealed that he is not even in the squad for today’s game.
Ozil left out of Arsenal squad today for #AFCvSAFC after being given day off training yesterday. Story to come....— Wayne Veysey (@wayneveysey) February 22, 2014
He was reportedly given the day off training yesterday and told by Wenger to rest up this weekend and come back fresh for the game against Stoke City on the 1st March.
It is a brave decision from Wenger - one that looks set to give Serge Gnabry a place in the match day squad.
But it is also perhaps the right move.
Ozil is clearly struggling for fitness; and confidence, after a difficult week, will be at an all-time low for the £42.4 million man.
He can now put his feet up and rest for a couple of days and enjoy his weekend off - recharge his batteries and return to training back to his best.
That it seems is the plan from Wenger anyway.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald