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Mikel Arteta on Mesut Özil: “I will put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.”

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Mesut Özil will return to the Arsenal squad when the 31-year-old midfielder will ‘give his best’ after he was omitted from the squad for their game against Manchester City.

“I’ve been very open with Mesut from day one,” said Arteta. “I thought he was fit and willing and wanted to perform at the level he can do. I think he has played every game with me.

“The moment I see he is ready to do that again I will treat him like everyone else. I have been more than fair with him and he has responded in many games, the way I want. That’s it.

“A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player. Sometimes they need a little bit of time. It has been difficult preparation in the last two months to get players ready. Again, I am the first one who wants Mesut at his best. I will put him on the pitch when I think he can give his best.”

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