Sokratis Papastathopoulos has revealed that all of Arsenal’s squad are behind Ozil after the German starred in their Europa League win last night.
The 3-0 win over BATE Borisov helped Arsenal progress into the last 16 of the Europa League. While Ozil put in a brilliant display and delivered a timely reminder of why he is such a crucial player to this team, it was only his second start for the Gunners since Boxing Day.
It has been arguably the worst season in the 30-year-old’s career at the Emirates so far. He has suffered a number of niggling injuries and illnesses. To top that off, his relationship with Unai Emery hasn’t been great either. The Spaniard has completely omitted him from the starting line-up on numerous occasions this season, even when fit. It has left many questioning whether he has a future at Arsenal under Emery’s regime.
Still, he will be a very important player for the Gunners this season. The club are fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League. Should they lose out on the fourth and final qualifying spot to a resurgent Manchester United, it becomes a must that they win the Europa League. With injuries already piling up in every department, Ozil will be a crucial asset to their trophy winning chances.
‘He played very good,’
Sokratis, who scored the third goal yesterday, said of Ozil’s display.
‘Mesut is a fantastic player and when he is fit he is one of the most important players in the team. Of course when something is not going good, everybody is there to criticise but we have to see also what Mesut did in the last years for this team.
‘All the team, all the players are behind him and we need a good Mesut to go (forward) because we know that he is very important for us.’
Sokratis has admitted that injuries haven’t been on Ozil’s side this season, but praised him for his performance last night. The defender also insisted that Arsenal ‘need’ him.
‘He was sick, he had some problems but after he came back for training,’ he said.
‘Now, he is good. He did well yesterday and I hope in the next games he will go forward like this. He enjoys (himself) and we enjoy that he is with us.
‘But when you are injured, it is difficult. Mesut is very important, he is a very good guy and we need him.’
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