Nigeria’s Arsenal forward, Alex Iwobi, is in line to start again when the Gunners visit Manchester United on Wednesday after doubt was cast over the fitness of his teammate, Mesut Ozil. Ozil was left on the bench in favour of the Super Eagles attacker for Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League. The 30-year-old playmaker was missing from the matchday squad altogether with Iwobi starting in his place again in the 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Now according to Arsenal coach, Unai Emery, Ozil is a doubt for Wednesday’s clash with Man. United at Old Trafford as he is still recovering from back spasm injury. The back pains kept Ozil from the squad that faced Spurs in the north London derby, a game which Iwobi started but was substituted at half-time, as well as in the 3-0 win at Vorskla Poltava in the Europa League last Thursday.
“He’s had backache since last Tuesday,” Emery said of Ozil, with the Arsenal boss adding, “At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester. Today he was working alone, I don’t know if he’s okay for Wednesday.”
Previously, Emery had stated Ozil would not be able to cope against Bournemouth’s physicality as his reason for dropping the German from the starting line-up. This comment from Emery threw Ozil’s future at Arsenal in doubt as the new Gunners boss has shown a ruthless habit of leaving underperforming players out of the team no matter their status in the squad; including veteran goalkeeper, Petr Cech, and beloved midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, who has even been told he will not be offered a contract extension when his current one runs out in June 2019.
Should he fail to get a starting shirt at Old Trafford, it would be the fourth consecutive game Ozil would miss for Arsenal. Coincidentally, Arsenal could only get draws in the last three games Ozil started for the club. Iwobi on his part has featured in the winning team in the the last two games he has started for the club. The Nigerian international has also featured more prominently in the Arsenal team this season having played a bit-part role under the club’s previous boss, Arsene Wenger.
With this in mind, perhaps Emery should keep leaving him out of the team in favour of Nigeria’s Iwobi or what do you think?