Mesut Özil named in Arsenal Squad to face Qarabag after Speculations of Video Game Addiction

Mesut Ozil will feature in Arsenal’s Europa League dead rubber against Qarabag on Thursday after Unai Emery shot down the theory that playing video games is behind his injury.

The 30-year-old midfielder has not played in more than a month following back problems but is set to be given minutes against the Azerbaijan minnows.

His absence led to rumours that his addiction to the game ‘Fortnite’ had contributed to his injury. According to the website ‘Wasted on Fortnite’, the German has racked up 5,221 matches on the gaming platform.

With the average game taking roughly 20 minutes to complete, Ozil has played for approximately 104,420 minutes, roughly 72 days, or five hours every day over the course of a year. 

However, Arsenal boss Emery smirked at the strange suggestion his player is suffering for his gaming habit.

“I don’t know,” Emery said. “Tomorrow he is in the group, the 18 players for this match. We are going to decide if he will play tomorrow from the beginning or during the 90 minutes.”

Skipper Laurent Koscielny is also set to make his first start since May and Emery said: “We are going to use tomorrow some different players coming from the Under-23s and in our planning is to start playing with Laurent Koscielny. Our first aim in this competition we have done.

“To be first in the group, but we respect this competition and Qarabag and tomorrow our objective is to win and we are going to give players chances to take responsibility.” 

Emery insisted he trusted his players after a video emerged of around a dozen of the Arsenal squad at a party where ‘hippy crack’ was inhaled.

The Gunners boss said: “The club said to you that this discussion is inside between us. For me, the most important thing is not to lose our focus. 

“I trust my players, I trust their behaviour.”