Arsenal face Burnley on Saturday, live on Sky Sports
By Rory O’Callaghan
Last Updated: 21/12/18 3:07pm
Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil still has a future at Arsenal despite leaving the midfielder out of the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat to Tottenham.
Ozil watched from the stands as Arsenal lost 2-0 to their bitter rivals on Wednesday, amid speculation he could leave the club in January.
Arsenal vs Burnley
December 22, 2018, 11:30am
However, Emery insists Ozil remains part of his plans at the Emirates and confirmed the midfielder would be in the squad to face Burnley on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
When asked if Ozil would be included, Emery said: “Yes. I want every player with a good mentality to help us. He can give us his quality and his characteristics.
“We need Mesut Ozil.”
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“Every player wants to play and help the team when we need them. The frustration is the same for everybody when they haven’t played a match.
“I have told him what we need from him. He has the commitment to help us and the quality and the characteristics to help us when the team need him on the pitch.
“Tomorrow he is in the 18 players in the squad.”
Arsenal head into the match on the back of consecutive defeats to Southampton and Tottenham and Emery is desperate to return to winning ways against Burnley, as the Gunners look to cut the gap to the top four.
“This match is very important,” he said. “Other teams are winning and not stopping, they are improving.
“After our defeat to Southampton we need the three points.”
“We have big respect for them [Burnley]. They are a good team with good players. They are very organised defensively and with the long ball they are alive to the second action.
“It is a big match tomorrow.”
Emery was forced play Granit Xhaka as part of makeshift defence in the defeat to Southampton last weekend, with Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Sead Kolasinac all missing through injury.
Kolasinac is expected to return to fitness in time to face Burnley but Emery has suggested he would be happy to play Xhaka in defence again, if needed.
“I read a little criticism for our midfielders like Xhaka playing centre back, but I am very happy with him because his mentality is a very big mentality,” said Emery.
“He helped us, and he played left back too sometimes and I think he played well.
“This reason, for me, is that I trust in another player and tomorrow we are going to play with the first 11 and other players in the bench with our performance.
“Above all, I think the mentality is a very big mentality to help us. We have the players and they are playing out of position, like Xhaka and [Stephan] Lichtsteiner last week at Southampton.”