Mesut Ozil continues to generate plenty of transfer talk at Arsenal, but Unai Emery says the World Cup winner is still needed within his plans.
The German playmaker has fallen out of favour at Emirates Stadium of late, with his manager favouring other options.
Ozil failed to make the matchday squad for a Carabao Cup quarter-final derby date with Tottenham on Wednesday, with Emery citing “tactical decisions” for his omission.
With uncertainty reigning in north London, it was been suggested that a January move may be on the cards – with Serie A giants Inter among those credited with holding an interest.
Emery, though, claims that the 30-year-old still has an important role to play under him.
Despite being initially reluctant to discuss Ozil’s future, as he offered one-word answers to the assembled press, the Arsenal boss did eventually elaborate on his plans.
He told reporters ahead of their Premier League clash with Burnley on Saturday: “I want every player with a good mentality to help us. He can give us his quality and his characteristics. We need Mesut Ozil.
“Every player wants to play and help the team when we need them. The frustration is the same for everybody when they haven't played a match.
“I have told him what we need from him. He has the commitment to help us and the quality and the characteristics to help us when the team need him on the pitch.
“Tomorrow he is in the 18 players in the squad.”
Pressed again on whether Ozil’s future lies at Arsenal, Emery said: “Yes, why not?”
The Gunners may need a proven performer to step back into their side against Burnley as Henrikh Mkhitaryan misses out through injury.
Emery’s team head into a home date with the Clarets looking to get back to winning ways.
Having gone 22 games without suffering a defeat across all competitions, Arsenal have come unstuck in their last two outings against Southampton and Spurs in league and cup action.