Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, has explained why he subbed off Mesut Ozil during their Carabao Cup defeat to Liverpool.

Mesut Ozil is “available” for Arsenal’s first game under Mikel Arteta, with the German looking to come back into contention after being informed by Freddie Ljungberg that he would not have figured against Everton even if he was fit.

The Gunners took in a final outing under an interim boss on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park.

Ozil missed out on a place in the matchday squad, with a knock picked up in a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City said to have kept him on the sidelines.

Ljungberg made it clear before and after a stalemate on Merseyside that the World Cup winner would not have been involved regardless, with a show of petulance after being replaced against City considered to have seen his behaviour dip below the required standard.

Arteta will be making selection calls when Arsenal return to Premier League action at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, with the Spaniard back in north London as he fills a first managerial role.

It remains to be seen what approach he will take with a squad that has collected only one win from its last 13 games across all competitions.


Ozil will, however, be in contention for a starting berth, with the Gunners revealing as much in a fitness update released on the club’s official website.

While the German is “available for selection”, a number of other players are set to miss out against the Cherries.

Calum Chambers is suspended, while Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac will not be seen again until 2020 after suffering shoulder and ankle injuries respectively.

Dani Ceballos has returned to training, but a hamstring problem has kept him out of action since early November.

Arsenal said of Rob Holding: “Left knee. Bruising to the knee. Being assessed ahead of Bournemouth.”

They added on Gabriel Martinelli, who has been favoured over Alexandre Lacazette of late: “Tight left hamstring. Being assessed ahead Bournemouth.”

Hector Bellerin will also face late tests on his fitness, but the Spain international right-back is another who has returned to full training and could step back in as Arteta makes his bow in the dugout.

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