Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (10) has been given a pep talk by his coach Unai Emery. Photo: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

Mesut Ozil received another pep talk from Unai Emery at the start of Arsenal’s pre-season campaign last week.

The Arsenal manager has challenged him to be ‘the best Mesut Ozil’ this season after the £350,000-a-week playmaker found himself marginalised during the last campaign.

Ozil enjoyed untouchable status under Arsene Wenger, but that is longer the case under the Frenchman’s successor. Having struggled with knee and back problems last year, the 30-year-old admitted he had a ‘tough time’ because he was not trusted in away games and did not seem suited to Emery’s philosophy.

By the end of the season, Ozil had become a regular starter and now Emery is expecting big things.

‘I spoke with him last week, at the beginning of pre-season, and wanted to get his best performance,’ said Emery. ‘The way to achieve that is daily commitment. He’s working very well and I’m very positive about him.

‘He’s one of the captains of the team with Granit Xhaka and Nacho Monreal. ‘I’m looking forward to seeing the best Mesut Ozil this season.’

Ozil echoed Emery’s postive outlook, saying: ‘I have a good relationship with the coach. We are speaking a lot and he wants to help me and I want to help the team.’

Daily Mail