Mesut Ozil made his return to the Arsenal side in their 1-0 win against Qarabag on Thursday.
The German playmaker has missed the Gunners’ past four games - he was dropped against Bournemouth and went on to miss the ties against Tottenham, Manchester United and Huddersfield through a back problem.
But his comeback was a successful one; Ozil set up Alexandre Lacazette to score as Unai Emery’s side ended the group stage with 16 points from 18.
His benching in Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Bournemouth on November 25 has led many to suggest there’s a rift growing between Ozil and Emery.
Indeed, it was the 30-year-old’s lacklustre showing in the 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in October that lead to his benching at the Vitality Stadium, according to the Mirror.
The Sun reported this month that Arsenal are even considering selling Ozil for £25 million in the January transfer window.
For a player who has been one of Arsenal’s star performers since his arrival in 2013, and who was rewarded with a handsome new contract in January, it’s a remarkable turn of events.
Keown highlights 'concerning' Ozil moment
But former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes he pinpointed the moment that sums up why Emery may have an issue with Ozil.
It came in the first half, when Ozil was shrugged off the ball too easily for Keown’s liking.
“This will be the area where Emery will be a little bit concerned,” Keown said on BT Sport. “Has he gone down a bit too easily?
“He needs to get to his feet quickly and demonstrate that he wants to get back. It took him almost five minutes to recover from that.
“And those are the areas where he needs to improve.”
Keown also suggested that a lack of motivation harms Ozil.
“It’s all there for him, but for me it’s whether he really wants it,” the three-time Premier League winner added.
“Does he want it enough?”News Now - Sport News