Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has conceded the club made a mistake by allowing Mesut Özil to sign for Arsenal during the summer transfer window.
Özil joined the Gunners in a club record €50 million deal on deadline day and has played a prominent role transforming them into genuine contenders to win the Premier League title.
Arsenal performed a coup indeed by clinching the signing of the Germany international after he scored 27 times and provided 69 assists during three seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Ancelotti admits Özil should never have been allowed to leave.
"I think we made a mistake when we gave him the possibility to leave the club," he told Gulf News.
Özil, meanwhile, is set to make his first Premier League appearance since the Boxing Day defeat of West Ham when Arsenal face Aston Villa on Monday evening.
The 25-year-old was unavailable for the victories against Newcastle and Cardiff due to a shoulder injury, but returned to action with a substitute appearance against Tottenham in the FA Cup.
Arsenal enter into the encounter at Villa Park having slipped back to third in the league, but three points will ensure they climb back above Chelsea and Manchester City to reclaim top spot.