Juan Mata has insisted that Mesut Ozil has “great quality” despite the German’s lack of playing time at Arsenal this season.
The Spanish playmaker has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team at The Emirates due to form and fitness issues, and he has only made one single appearance in the Premier League so far.
Ozil, 31, has been working hard on his fitness levels behind the scenes at Arsenal’s London Colney training ground in a bid to prove himself ready for a starting spot in Emery’s team.
The former Real Madrid star will be hoping to win over Emery and earn a more regular spot in the Arsenal team in the coming weeks and months in the lead up to the hectic festive period in the Premier League.
Mata has admitted that he is not sure of what exactly is going on with Ozil at Arsenal, but he still rates him as a top playmaker.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Mata said: “To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on.
“I was with Emery for three years in Valencia and I know him very well but I don’t know the day-to-day thing in Arsenal right now.
“But, of course, Ozil is a creator, a player with a lot of great quality that I like watching.
“This type of player, this pure No 10, is … how do you say? Extinct? Maybe not extinct, but not as used as before ‘In the past, there was always this pure No 10, behind the striker or the two strikers, depending on the team.
“With different systems now, that position has evolved into a different one.
“But these are players I like, where natural talent brings the best of them and they can change a game with a pass or something that nobody else sees.”
Ozil will be hoping to be involved when Arsenal return to Premier League action on Monday night with a trip to Sheffield United in the top flight.
The Gunners currently find themselves in third place in the table.