In Brief

Ozil close to Gunners return: is he the man to inspire Arsenal?

After his early-season travails and injury, Ozil could be the key to an Arsenal resurgence

First Olivier Giroud made an early return from injury to reinvigorate the Arsenal attack and now there is more good news for Gunners fans after playmaker Mesut Ozil suggested he too could be in line for a return to action ahead of schedule.

The German international has been out of action since early October after a partial rupture of knee ligaments against Chelsea. But he is now back in training.

"The initial prognosis for a likely return was for early in 2015, and Ozil suggested he could soon be back in contention, having been pictured walking out for a session at the Gunners' Hertfordshire training base in the build up to last weekend's Barclays Premier League match against Newcastle," reports the Daily Mirror.

Ozil's comeback could co-incide with that of Theo Walcott, who was also sidelined with a knee injury sustatined almost a year ago. His comeback last month was curtailed by a groin problem but he too is now close to full fitness and could even feature against Liverpool.

It gives Arsenal fans plenty to look forward to in 2015 according to Arsenal writer Charlie Melman of Bleacher Report. Before his injury Ozil's performances had been lacklustre and often ineffective but he will return to a "considerably different team" says Melman.

With Alexis Sanchez now established in the side and Walcott fit, Ozil will be able to feed off their pace and play the kind of passes that made him a success with Real Madrid.

The Gunners also have two main strikers in Danny Welbeck and Giroud, and that means the German "will have more talent ahead of him than he has ever had during his time in London".

Melman claims that with Wilshere out of action, Ozil will also find space in Wenger's starting XI, even though his poor early season form saw his popularity wane among the fans. If he really can capitalise on the speed and talent around him then he may be able to win over the supporters again.

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