Manager Unai Emery intends to continue his policy of rotating Mesut Ozil after making only his third appearance for Arsenal in 2019.
The German playmaker made his second start of the year to help Arsenal overturn a 1-0 aggregate deficit to BATE Borisov by claiming a 3-0 win in Thursday’s return leg of their Round of 32 Europa League clash.
It’s been a difficult season for Ozil amid struggles for form and fitness once more overshadowing his campaign in north London.
And Emery indicated that Ozil will be spending more time on the bench despite declaring his satisfaction with the former Real Madrid playmaker’s performance.
“If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us,” said Emery on Arsenal.com.
“His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, like with [Matteo] Guendouzi and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan and [Alex] Iwobi in the attacking third. I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.”
Arsenal got off to a bright start at the Emirates Stadium when Bate defender Zakhar Volkov turned in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross into his own net in the fourth minute of the game.
Defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos then headed in two more goals to seal a 3-1 aggregate win for the Gunners.
However, it was not all good news for Arsenal with captain Laurent Koscielny being forced to withdraw in the second-half with Sokratis coming on for the French centre-back.
This has prompted fears that Koscielny has ruptured his Achilles tendon again after only returning to action in December after a seven-month absence.
“I think it’s precaution and we are going to wait for tomorrow,” said Emery on Koscielny.
“But, I hope he will be okay for Sunday and for the next week. It’s muscular, it’s not a break. But it was only a precaution because he was starting to feel not good.”
Arsenal will next take on Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.