Ozil can be 'a big weapon for Arsenal' in North London Derby and top-four bid - Petit

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The World Cup-winning midfielder has not enjoyed the best of seasons but is considered to rediscovered his motivation on the back of recent outings

Mesut Ozil can be a “big weapon for Arsenal” in their North London Derby date with Tottenham and their ongoing top-four bid, says Emmanuel Petit, with the World Cup winner looking more motivated.

The 2018-19 campaign has been a testing one for the German playmaker, with his future being questioned amid an apparent tumble out of favour in the eyes of Unai Emery.

He has, however, been struggling with injury and illness, with a combination of those issues and a lack of regular minutes doing his bid to find top form few favours.

Ozil has figured in Arsenal’s last two games, though, and is considered to have offered enough in those outings to suggest that he can still play a key role for the Gunners this season.

Petit told Paddy Power ahead of a potential derby outing for the 30-year-old against Spurs on Saturday: “It has taken time for Ozil to show his real level on the pitch again.

“He did well against Bournemouth and looked fresh mentally. We know his quality - the only question is about his motivation, and what I saw on Wednesday is the beginning of the answer.

“Unai Emery's management of Ozil has been good. He's left him at home and put him on the bench at various times, giving him a few minutes here and there before now thrusting him back into the first team.

“It's a long process and it's necessary to concentrate not only on the player but also on the man - for weeks, Emery has been doing that.

“So, I hope Ozil will keep enjoying himself on the pitch and keep his mind fresh. If he can do that, it will be a big weapon for Arsenal until the end of the season.”

Alexandre Lacazette Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2018-19

While facing a big selection call when it comes to Ozil, Arsenal boss Emery must also decide whether to go with two up top at Wembley or favour a lone striker system.

Petit added on that poser, with two proven performers in contention: “It looks like Emery wants to start with just one of Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the team.

“In the big games, it seems as if he wants him team to be harder to break down, which means playing with just one striker.

“Tactically, the balance isn’t the same when both of them play, but just because you play with two strikers it doesn’t mean you can’t have balance.

“But he wants to play with different systems and to change his system regularly – personally I believe that Arsenal are a very good team when they’re both on the pitch.

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“They score goals almost every single game – if it’s not Lacazette, it’ll be Aubameyang – and create chances for one another constantly.

“At the moment, it’s working with one up front and the players are responding well when they come off the bench.

“Lacazette and Aubameyang are both performing and scoring goals when they come on as substitutes. But I still think that when they play together, they’re a terrific partnership.”

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