Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has been hitting the gym in his bid to return to full fitness faster and stronger than ever, Arsene Wenger revealed to reporters of the Daily Star.
The former Real Madrid man picked up a knee ligament injury during the 2-0 defeat at Chelsea at the beginning of October, ruling him out for the ensuing three months.
During that time, results have been up and down for the Gunners but the creative spark provided by Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla have caused many to speculate how badly Ozil was actually missed.
The German international will be the first man to admit that his club form throughout 2014 could certainly have been better, and Wenger concedes that Ozil has decided to take a different approach to his game.
“He has taken to the fact that he wants to be stronger. He has worked hard,” Wenger was quoted as saying.
"You have more time to focus on it. Every day he is in the gym and he can work on it and, as well, you don't have the fatigue of the games.”
"And it's better when you look in the mirror! He is fit, has worked very hard and now it is down to him playing games."
It’s a promising match for the 26-year-old to get back in to the swing of things though his role in the XI is unclear as his boss admits that competition for places has increased his options.
"I see him behind the striker or on the flank where he doesn't like to play. In our team anyway it is very flexible, when you play on the flank, to move inside,” Wenger explained.
"Usually we have one player who is a raw winger and one player who is more midfielder player out there. Until now it was Santi many times.”
"But Ozil is a fantastic player. He will come back very strong and we are in a position where we have the luxury to have him back and where we have some players who are completely fresh and rested.”
"I have to use them at the right moment."