Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has declared himself ‘ready’ as the Gunners prepare to face new Premier League champions Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
Ozil has been hampered by back trouble in recent weeks and hasn’t played at all since the season restarted in June. He was an unused substitute for the games against Brighton and Southampton but hasn’t even made the bench for any of Arsenal’s last five outings in all competitions.
Ozil has now entered the final year of a controversially lucrative Arsenal contract he signed in 2018 and his future at the club beyond then, especially as manager Mikel Arteta plans a new vision for the squad moving forward, has been under a considerable amount of doubt.
Even when he has played this season, the 31-year-old’s performances have been disappointing, with only one goal and two assists to show from 18 Premier League appearances.
But taking to Twitter 24 hours ahead of kick-off against Liverpool, Ozil had a clear message for both his manager and Arsenal fans: “I AM READY.”
Asked about Ozil earlier in the day, Arteta had given a brief and non-committal response about the player's fitness and availability.
“With Mesut the situation is still the same as it was. I don't know [if he’ll play again this season]. At the moment, the situation remains the same. We will see if that changes,” he said.
At the start of the July, Arteta explained that anyone who wants to play for Arsenal must be ‘100% committed to our culture’, adding that anyone who wishes to ‘jump on the boat’ is welcome.
The debate among fans and pundits is whether Ozil fits into that.
Arteta elaborated when he said, “Players that are ready to help each other, fight for each other and enjoy playing together. That is what I mean by being in the boat.
“If you behave like this every day you are very, very welcome here and we want to get the best out of you and help you to enjoy your profession with us.”