Ozil set to be fit for Gunners game
Published 16/10/2013 | 15:16
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is expected to be in contention to face Norwich on Saturday despite being substituted during Germany's final World Cup qualifying match in Sweden.
The £42.5million transfer deadline day signing from Real Madrid has been a key player in the Gunners' impressive form before the international break, which saw them move to the top of the Barclays Premier League.
Although Ozil, who turned 25 on Tuesday, was replaced in the closing stages of the 5-3 win in Stockholm, during which he scored, Press Association Sport understands the knock the player received to his knee was considered minor and the German Football Association was not aware of any major issues before he flew direct back to London.
Ozil is, like the rest of Arsenal's internationals, set to return to the club for assessment on Thursday, when it is hoped further tests will confirm no lasting problems as Arsene Wenger looks to finalise his plans for a return to domestic action.
Fellow midfield playmaker Santi Cazorla should be involved again for the first time since the win over Tottenham on September 1 following his recovery from an ankle problem. England forward Theo Walcott, who has been sidelined after a minor abdominal procedure, could also come back into Wenger's thinking, although next week's Champions League tie with Borussia Dortmund is perhaps a more likely return date.
One player who has declared himself fit following the international action is goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who produced a couple of good saves in Poland's 2-0 defeat at Wembley which saw England qualify for the World Cup finals.
Szczesny stood in for Artur Boruc, who had a muscular problem, and there was a short moment of concern when the Arsenal keeper held his arm following a collision with Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck.
However, the 23-year-old Pole said: "He just stood on my hand, but it was nothing serious."
Szczesny feels Arsenal can sustain their positive form to last the distance in the race for some long-overdue silverware in 2014.
He said: "I hope we (Arsenal) can keep going the way we have in the past few weeks and will give ourselves the best chance to challenge for a trophy."
Arsenal will hold their Annual General Meeting on Thursday, when owner Stan Kroenke is expected to be in attendance at the Emirates Stadium's Highbury Suite along with new chairman Sir Chips Keswick.
While this year's event is likely to be less heated than 12 months ago given the improvement of on-field results and smashing the transfer record to sign Ozil, supporters group are nevertheless set to press the American again on his pre-takeover commitment to engage with "fan groups in formal and informal settings."
Elsewhere, Wigan manager Owen Coyle has confirmed he wants to sign out-of-favour Arsenal forward Park Chu-young, but the South Korean - who spent last season on loan in Spain at Celta Vigo - would need to agree to a wage cut to play for the Sky Bet Championship side.