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Unai Emery insists Mesut Ozil was left out of the Arsenal squad which flew to Belarus on Wednesday because he has not sufficiently recovered from the illness which ruled him out Saturday’s win over Huddersfield.
The German has just featured twice since Boxing Day for the Gunner and he is set to miss Thursday’s clash against BATE Borisov.
‘We are here with the players who I think are OK to play,’ said Emery. ‘The players not in the squad is because Ramsey has not trained with us, Sokratis has started to train but not enough, Mesut is the same. ‘Aubameyang started Monday and I think he is OK for the match.’
January signing Denis Saurez has made two brief substitute appearances since his January move from Barcelona and is in line to make his full debut although Emery believes his compatriot still needs more time to adapt to his new surroundings.
He said: ‘I am thinking about the best performance for tomorrow. I think his adaptation is good, but he needs time.
‘He is OK to start, but he can also be on the bench. He needs to earn, little by little. To get minutes.’