Arsene Wenger is confident Mesut Ozil will return to the Arsenal team much better prepared for the demands of English football following a knee injury.
The Germany international burst on to the scene following his move from Real Madrid in September 2013 but faded towards the end of last season. His critics suggested the demanding physical nature of English football was proving too much.
With Ozil expected to return in the FA Cup fourth-round clash at Brighton on Sunday, the Gunners boss has suggested his player is better equipped than before.
“He has worked hard, I think he has taken to the fact that he wants to be stronger,” Wenger said. “You have more time to focus on it. Every day he is in the gym, you also don’t have the fatigue of the games – and it is better when you look in the mirror.”
Arsenal are 1.47 to overcome Chris Hughton’s Brighton (6.74) at the Amex Stadium where the draw is 3.98.
The Gunners are on a high following last Sunday’s victory over Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal showed a different side to their play by frustrating City and Wenger wants to see more of the same in the cup clash.
“(Beating Man City) raises the belief and the confidence of the team but it also questions your ability to repeat that kind of performance, and to keep that tenacity in your concentration. That’s what will be questioned at Brighton,” he told Arsenal’s website.