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'Lightweight' Mesut Ozil has used his injury lay-off to hit the gym and beef up

The German is expected to make his first start in three months at Brighton tomorrow.

ARSENAL MIDFIELDER MESUT Ozil has made an effort to come back from his spell on the sidelines a more physically powerful player, claims manager Arsene Wenger.

A knee injury suffered in November kept the Germany international out for three months before he made his return to action against Stoke City earlier in January.

Ozil has at times been criticised for his failure to justify his €56.8 million price tag but his manager claims the playmaker is now looking to ally a greater toughness to his impressive skill on the ball.

“He has worked hard,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “I think he has taken to the fact that he wants to be stronger.

“You have more time to focus on it [when you are injured]. Every day he is in the gym and he can work on it and, as well, you don’t have the fatigue of the games. And it’s better when you look in the mirror!”

However, the Gunners boss warned: “It is not only down to pure strength when you play football. It is down to when to switch your strength on and the timing of your switch-on.

“I know 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 a very efficient way. It is a technique more than a power.

“A guy who spends a bit of time in the gym kills his co-ordination and becomes more rigid. Winning a challenge is down to flexibility and co-ordination, switching on all the muscles on at the same, right time. That is not down to lifting weights.”

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