Mesut Ozil has named his dream team XI for the 2023-24 Champions League campaign, and he included Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka in the list.
The Gunners return to the elite European competition for the first time since 2017 on Wednesday when they host Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, and the German has dropped the names of some of the players he is looking forward to seeing.
Ozil included Saka in the starting XI alongside Manchester City trio Erling Haaland, Rodri and Ruben Dias.
The former Arsenal star posted thus on his X account.
While Ozil still loves Arsenal, his decision to include Saka in his team is based on merit and not emotions.
The 22-year-old recently made the 30-man nomination list for the 2023 Ballon d’Or award following his brilliant individual campaign with the North Londoners last term.
The Gunners star also made the PFA Premier League Team of the Year, was nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, won the PFA Young Player of the Year award before emerging as England’s Men’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.
Saka bagged 14 goals and 11 assists in 38 Premier League games in 2022-23 and has scored twice and assisted twice in five games already in the new term.
The Arsenal academy graduate is playing in the Champions League for the first time in his career and will be eagerly looking forward to proving himself on such a big stage.
The Gunners will also be facing Sevilla and RC Lens in Group B of the competition and hope to advance to the knockout stages.
Arsenal were dumped out at the last-16 in six of their last seven appearances in the Champions League, but they have a squad capable of going further this time around, and Saka and co. will be hungry to deliver.
Plenty of the players have not played in the competition before, but it remains to be seen whether their inexperience at that level will count against them.