The Chalkboard: Ozil must start for Arsenal against Southampton

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Arsenal will be looking to make it back-to-back Premier League wins when they welcome Southampton to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

And Mesut Ozil must start for the Gunners, despite the recent comments from the London club’s head coach Unai Emery about rotation.

What has Emery said?

Emery has revealed that Ozil will continue to be rotated in and out of the XI, suggesting that he will be on the bench against Southampton this weekend having started Thursday’s clash with BATE Borisov.

Ozil was in the Arsenal XI for just the second time in 2019 against BATE, and the German helped his team record a 3-0 win at the Emirates Stadium.

The 30-year-old could well find himself back on the bench in the Premier League on Sunday, but there simply has to be a spot in the team for the playmaker.

Much can be said about Ozil’s energy levels and willingness to go that extra mile, but he remains Arsenal’s most talented footballer.

And he has to feature against a Southampton team who will find it very difficult to see much of the ball during the 90 minutes.

How has Ozil performed this season?

Nineteen matches – four goals and two assists. The fact that Ozil has only registered one Premier League assist this season is quite incredible when considering his talent.

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However, in fairness to the former Real Madrid attacker, who Transfermarkt value at £31.5million, it is clear that he does not have the trust of Emery as he simply does not work hard enough.

The Gunners will absolutely dominate the ball against the Saints, though, and they will not need every single player to be a workhouse.

On the contrary, it is in these type of games where players of Ozil’s quality are extremely important.

The 6 foot ace is intelligent enough to know that he has not been at his best this season, but it makes little sense to leave the German out of Arsenal’s home fixtures against the lesser clubs in the division, with respect to Southampton of course.