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Arteta claims it’s difficult for Ozil with ‘evolving’ Arsenal side

Mesut Ozil was missing for Arsenal again on Wednesday, and his path back to the first team will not be easy admits Mikel Arteta.

As Arsenal booked their place in the fourth round of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 victory over Leicester City on Wednesday the former German international was absent and has not played for the first team since the Premier League game with West Ham on March 7.

Arteta did say he is likely to find it hard to push his way into Arsenal’s starting XI when the Spaniard beat away a series of questions from journalists after the game about Ozil’s future.

“The team is evolving; you can see the level they are achieving,” he told a news conference. “This is where we are at the moment. We want to evolve more and play better and compete better.”

“I’m really happy with the performance here, how difficult they’re making things for the coaching staff to select the squad.”

“You can see that the players we are changing, we are using, it’s very difficult every week, not just for Mesut but for some other players as well, to make the squad. Every week we try to pick the right players.”

“It’s difficult for others as well that aren’t involved in the Premier League and didn’t play tonight either. We have a squad of 26, 27 players at the moment and we can’t give playing time to all of them.”

“I try to select the players that are, in my opinion, in better condition.”

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