Raphael Honigstein says an inside source has told him that when Mesut Özil misses games it’s because Unai Emery doesn’t fancy him for that particular match.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, Honigstein said he’d spoken to some ‘who should know’ about Özil’s situation with Emery.
The source denied that there was any personal problem between the player and the coach, but added that whenever the German playmaker isn’t playing it’s because Emery ‘didn’t fancy him’ for the game.
For the most part, Emery hasn’t hidden that fact. He was very clear against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup that it was a ‘tactical decision’ to leave Özil out, and he said the same thing after taking the former Real Madrid star off at half-time against Brighton.
However, it does throw into doubt some of the other injury problems. Özil missed the defeat against Liverpool with a knee injury according to Emery, but Honigstein’s source seems to suggest it’s just another tactical decision.
If the injury is real, David Ornstein appears to be suggesting it’s only a short-term problem. The BBC journalist’s tweet implied Özil was close to making it back in time for Liverpool, so with any luck, he’ll be back against Fulham.
Ozil’s knee injury was sustained at Brighton on Boxing Day and despite the best efforts from all for him to be fit to face Liverpool tomorrow, the problem persisted – he was not ready play or be in the squad #AFC
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) December 28, 2018
Ozil will be ‘assessed’ ahead of the game against Fulham.