Arsene Wenger has cast doubt over whether Mesut Ozil will be fit to face Huddersfield Town in Arsenal’s midweek fixture in the Premier League.
Despite praising the player for making improvements to his attitude and fitness in the week leading up to the away trip to Burnley on Sunday he was forced to miss the win through illness.
The German playmaker is now in a race to ensure he will be available to play against Manchester United on the first weekend of December as Jose Mourinho’s side visit the Emirates to take one the Gunners.
Speaking in his post-match press conference following Arsenal’s 1-0 victory at Turf Moor over Burnley, Wenger admitted he was uncertain about the midfielder’s status.
“I don’t know, I haven’t even seen him,” he said. “The doctor came to see me and said he had to travel back home. He was in the hotel with us.
“He travelled up with us, then travelled back. We brought [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles up who arrived at 1pm because we had only 17 players.”
Arsenal are yet to determine what has made Ozil ill, according to Wenger, and he is therefore unable to say whether the playmaker will be ready to take on Huddersfield, who lost 2-1 to Manchester City at the weekend in a tightly-contest encounter at Kirklees Stadium.
“How bad is he?” said the Frenchman. “Will he be available for Wednesday? Certainly he will be short [of fitness] for Wednesday.
“We will have to see what it is exactly.”
Ozil has been involved in four goals in his last four games for Arsenal, with three assists and a goal. He was named man of the match in their 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the first north London derby of the season.
He has been linked with a move to United at the end of the season when he will be available to sign for free once his contract has expired.
Wenger selected Alex Iwobi to start in place of the German against Burnley and also sent on Jack Wilshere in the second half to perk up his team’s midfield play.