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Mesut Ozil has been at the forefront of the Unai Emery revolution at Arsenal.
The German has played some of his best football under the Spaniard since joining the club, and is looking worth every bit of the £350,000-a-week deal he signed back in February.
The midfielder has previously been labelled sulky and disinterested as a result of his body language at times during his time in north London, but he’s looked anything but so far this campaign.
Ozil trained alongside his Arsenal team-mates on Wednesday as the Gunners prepared for their Europa League clash against Sporting on Thursday.
The 30-year-old has played under an hour of the club’s three European games so far this season, but it hasn’t stopped him having fun in the training sessions.
Ozil was in mischievous mood as the Arsenal players were put through their paces at London Colney – humiliating Matteo Guendouzi in a rondo before setting his sights on Emery’s assistant Paulo Villanueva.
While the Spanish coach was busy barking out instructions, Ozil took the chance to clock up his 141,000th nutmeg as a professional footballer, rolling the ball through Villanueva’s legs, much to the amusement of team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Perhaps luckily for Ozil, Emery was otherwise occupied, and the Gunners boss is serious about going one better in Europe than the club managed last term.
“We want to find our focus in two ways – one is in this competition, which is very important for us. It’s one way [to win] a title and get into the Champions League next year,” said Emery at his pre-match press conference.
The second focus is on our work, to continue to improve and to continue with the players, taking responsibility and confidence. Above all, I want to continue at the Emirates together with our supporters with the same spirit as in the same matches as against Blackpool, Leicester, Liverpool.
“Tomorrow is a very good test for us for those two things I have spoken about.”