If Arsenal and their manager Unai Emery are to recover from an uncertain start to the season, their recent 5-5 draw at Liverpool in the League Cup – they eventually lost on penalties – demonstrated that the out-of-favour Mesut Özil may provide them with so many of the qualities they need. A team that is lacking in leadership and creativity, particularly after the departure of Aaron Ramsey to Juventus, can potentially be strengthened by a player who has won both La Liga and the World Cup in his career.
Özil created one goal for Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Anfield, and set up the strike from Bukayo Saka that led to Lucas Torreira’s initial equaliser. The obvious question is how much more effective Emery’s team could be with him feeding a potent front three of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pépé, who is still acclimatising to life in the Premier League. Concerns surrounding Granit Xhaka’s future as captain may have distracted from the wider debate surrounding Özil, but with Emery under greater pressure than at any other point since replacing Arsène Wenger, it may even be his use of the German midfielder that makes or breaks his own future in the Premier League.