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Emery says ‘the key is in his hands’ when quizzed about controversial playmaker Ozil

Unai Emery has put the ball in Mesut Ozil’s court by saying the Arsenal playmaker needs to show consistency in order to return to the starting line-up.

The former Germany international was not in the matchday squad for last Thursday’s Europa League loss to BATE Borisov, with the club citing illness as a factor, and has only featured once in the last seven Premier League fixtures.

Arsenal manager Emery has now come out and said that it is up to Ozil to work his way back into the team, telling the player what he needs to do in a private conversation between the two.

“First, the key in his hands,” said Emery at his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s return leg against BATE.

“He’s working very well this week and I asked him in our conversation to be consistent, to be available for training. I said that when you can train with us consistently you can help us with your best performance in the games.

“I think this week was good for all the players because we are in a big, important moment for the season. I am looking at him doing the training like we want.

“I know he wants that but he needs consistency, to be available for training and the matches without injuries, without being sick. Like that, I think we can see the best Mesut.”

A recent Instagram post from Ozil, quoting club legend Dennis Bergkamp, suggests that the player is happy to stay at Arsenal.

The post read: “When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of the trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there; found a place where you belong.”

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