Unai Emery says Mesut Ozil is now playing like a ‘team player’ as he prepares to hand the German his first away league start in 2019.
Ozil looked to be heading for the exit door at Arsenal having been partially frozen out by Emery, who had grown frustrated by the playmakers’s lackadaisical attitude towards training.
But after being left out of the squad completely for some matches, Ozil has worked his way back into favour in recent weeks, with Emery having gone on record praising the former German international’s improved work rate.
The 30-year-old has now been rewarded with four successive starts in all competitions, but none of those have come away from home in the Premier League.
You have to go all the way back to the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day to find the last time Ozil was included in a Premier League starting XI away from the Emirates and even then he was withdrawn after just 45 minutes.
But that run is expected to come to an end at Goodison Park on Sunday when Arsenal travel to Everton looking to maintain their charge for a top four spot.
Ozil looks set to line up behind both Pierre-Emeirck Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette on Merseyside and Emery has hinted that is down to his playmaker now putting his teammates first.
When asked why Ozil hadn’t been starting away games, Arsenal’s head coach said: “It depends on each match.
“Sometimes it was because we needed something different, sometimes it was because he was injured.
“Now he is OK, he is training every day. He can play with two systems, 4-2-3-1 which maybe for him is the best, but sometimes we are playing 4-3-1-2 and he is playing like a team player. Also sometimes 3-4-1-2. Sometimes he can also play on the right side or the left.
“For me, the most important thing is for him to be ready, to be available to us, to help or play and he is now in this way.”
Emery added: "He’s working very well, playing very well, he’s helping us. I’m very happy with him. I think the team has a good atmosphere, good spirit with each player helping us with their qualities and good behaviour.
"That’s the spirit I want, they are doing that, and Mesut is like the others [in that regard]."