Unai Emery rests Mesut Özil for Europa League opener to manage workload

• Arsenal away to Eintracht Frankfurt in first group stage game
• Manager wants playmaker fresh for Aston Villa game on Sunday

Mesut Özil has been spared a potentially stormy return to Germany after Unai Emery opted to rest him for Arsenal’s opening Europa League tie at Eintracht Frankfurt, saying he is keeping the playmaker fresh for the match against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Emery was at pains to say that Özil, who played his first 71 minutes of the season in the 2-2 draw with Watford, has been left in London – along with the centre?back Sokratis Papastathopolous, who by contrast has completed all five of Arsenal’s league games – to manage his workload.

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