–Returning Arsenal star to show off gym physique
Arsene Wenger says Mesut Ozil is ready to rumble after returning to full fitness with a new muscular physique.
As Sportsmail revealed earlier this month, Ozil has built up his upper body and core strength during his gruelling rehabilitation programme after a knee injury to prepare for the rigours of Barclays Premier League football.
The Germany midfielder is set to make his first start since October in Sunday’s FA Cup clash against Brighton.
While Ozil’s quality has not been questioned since his arrival from Real Madrid 18 months ago, his slender frame led to suggestions that he can be bullied by top-flight defenders.
But his new muscular frame should help him stand up to the physical nature of English football.
‘He is bigger in the upper body, he has worked hard,’ said Wenger.
‘Every day he is in the gym and he can work on it. You don’t have the fatigue of the games — and it’s better when you look in the mirror!
‘It is not only down to pure strength when you play. It is down to when to switch your strength on and the timing of your switch-on.
‘Players like Claude Makelele, for instance, were not monsters but when he went for a challenge he had the technique to use his strength in an efficient way.
‘Winning a challenge is down to flexibility and co-ordination, switching on all the muscles at the right time. That is not down to lifting weights.’