By Wayne Veysey
Mesut Ozil returned to training at Arsenal on Wednesday following a mini-break in Morocco.
Arsene Wenger gave the Germany international permission to have a short holiday in the north African sunshine and recharge his batteries before the club’s league campaign kicks back into gear next week.
Ozil missed Arsenal’s matches against Newcastle and Cardiff City over the Christmas period with a shoulder injury but returned as a substitute in the club’s FA Cup win over Tottenham last Saturday.
Goal understands that the playmaker flew to Morocco after the north London derby and returned to the capital on Tuesday, after being excused from first-team training earlier that day.
Ozil trained with Arsenal on Wednesday as Wenger’s team stepped up preparations for Monday night’s Premier League trip to Aston Villa.
Wenger is keen for the 25-year-old to be in optimum condition for the second half of the campaign following a hectic start to his Arsenal career.
Ozil has played in virtually every match since his club-record €50 million move from Real Madrid last summer and spoke in a recent interview about how he was unaccustomed to not having a winter break.
"Of course it is out of the ordinary because I have always had one in previous years. In the Premier League, you play every few days - you don't get a week to relax,” he said.
Ozil added: “I am very pleased that I am in this league because you go from game to game very quickly.
“You play every two or three days and for me it is better to play more games than train because I love a challenge and here that is perfect.”