Arsenal welcome reigning Premier League champions Manchester City to the Emirates on Sunday.
Mesut Ozil is one of four players Arsenal interim boss Freddie Ljungberg must start against Manchester City on Sunday, claims former West Ham arider Leroy Rosenior. Rosenior says Gunners captain and top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will want Ozil to start the visit of the Premier League champions to the Emirates.
After being out of the picture at Arsenal during the early weeks of the season, Ozil has become a regular starter for the Gunners.
He has started the last six Premier League outings, including the three Ljungberg has been in charge of since he replaced the sacked Unai Emery.
Rosenior says Ozil’s creativity and ability to keep the ball is something they will need against City.
The pundit has also called on the inclusion of Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Aubameyang after the trio netted in the 3-1 win over West Ham on Monday.
“Ozil is key,” Rosenior told Premier League Productions.
“I do think that when he’s on the ball… I think at this moment in time that Arsenal are so bad without the ball, their best way of defending is to keep the ball.
“So until they get to being a side that are all going to work and will defend properly, then I say ‘Look, keep the ball like you did [against West Ham]’.
“I would play Ozil, I would play him. They’ve got to score to win haven’t they.
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“I think Ozil’s the one who makes them play, I think Aubameyang would want him to play.
“I’ll tell you what, Martinelli has to play. I think he’s got to play, the kid.
“[Bukayo] Saka played well [on Thursday]but I don’t think he will come into the side.
“Pepe’s got his first goal [from open play], he’s got to play, you’ve got to keep him going. And Aubameyang’s got to play.”
Arsenal scored three goals in less than 10 minutes to beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
Rosenior was pleased with Ljungberg’s team selection in east London but says Arsenal must repeat that performance against City.
“Well one thing they can do is pass the ball and they did that brilliantly in that period against West Ham,” Rosenior added.
“I was pleased that they put [Calum] Chambers in, I’m pleased that they left David Luiz out because they had two centre-halves who are a little bit more on the front foot.
“[Lucas] Torreira needs to stop running about as much, they left [Matteo] Guendouzi out with [Granit] Xhaka [playing].”
Rosenior is predicting a loss for Ljungberg’s side though.
“Man City will win 3-1,” he concluded.