Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is delighted to have Mesut Ozil fit and available for Sunday’s Premier League visit of Stoke City and said he is “hungry” for action.
The 26-year-old Germany international struggled for form in the early months of the new season having returned to the club on the back of his country’s World Cup-winning success in Brazil.
Ozil has been ruled out of action since October 5 when he suffered knee ligament damage during the Gunners’ defeat against London rivals Chelsea.
But the club’s record signing has worked hard to get himself back to full fitness and Wenger feels he is now ready to answer his critics and have a positive influence on the side in the second half of the season, with the Gunners looking for a top-four Premier League finish and to progress in the Champions League.
He said: “Today he looks hungry and is working extremely hard, pushing himself to the limit of what you can absorb physically to come back. He is ready. He is hungry.
“He came back from winning the World Cup at the end of August, even if I gave him the holiday they needed the hunger is artificial. You have to slowly get back and realise how much you miss it – I have had it with players before.
“He is an exceptional football player. He always gives you continuity in your game. He’s a very creative player and ideally you want all your best players available.”
The Gunners are 1.46 to defeat Stoke on Sunday at the Emirates, while Mark Hughes’ Potters can be backed at 7.24 and the draw is 4.05.