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Ozil & Kolasinac return to Arsenal reckoning after security scare

7:43 PM IST 15/08/19
Sead Kolasinac Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2018-19
The Gunners duo were forced to sit out a Premier League season opener away at Newcastle, but are in Unai Emery’s thoughts to face Burnley on Saturday

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has confirmed that Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac are back in his plans after a security scare surrounding the duo.

The pair, who were confronted by an armed carjacking gang in July, were forced to sit out a season opener against Newcastle.

“Further incidents” were said to have forced the German playmaker and Bosnian defender out of the reckoning for a trip to St James’ Park.

Both have, however, returned to training ahead of a home date with Burnley on Saturday.

Ozil has been struggling with illness this week, but Emery is “100 per cent” confident that two experienced figures will be ready for Premier League duty if required.

The Spaniard told reporters when pressed on whether the pair are mentally ready for competitive action: “Yes [I’m] 100 per cent [confident]. One hundred per cent with them. Their mentality, their focus is with us, for training and matches.

“I want to help them to live with normality with us, training, thinking and focussing on each training and each match.

“They came back training with us the first day on Tuesday. They had the day off but came to start training with us.

“Ozil was a little sick. He didn’t train yesterday [Wednesday] but today he is getting better.

“But each training session gives us good information and different options with them, also for us to decide whether to take the option that they can play on Saturday the first 11.

“For us first it is like a person, after like a player but we will wait for tomorrow the last training.

“If they are training consistently each day with normal work, each training I am going to decide and achieve the best solution in each moment. It is positive they are with us now.

“When they are training consistently every day it is good news for us because we can chose them to help us and the first match is Saturday.”

Arsenal fared admirably without Ozil and Kolasinac during a visit to Tyneside.

The prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang proved to the match winner for the Gunners, with his solitary strike enough to get Emery’s side off to the perfect start in 2019-20.