Mesut Ozil says he’s missing playing football as he nears the end of his lengthy injury spell.

Arsenal record signing Mesut Ozil is eager to return to training “as soon as possible” after missing the last 10 weeks of the campaign due to a knee injury. After an inconsistent debut campaign at the Emirates Stadium following his £42m move from Real Madrid, the German international was expected to become the leader of the team during the current season. But a partial ligament tear suffered earlier in the season following the defeat at Chelsea in October, has seen him missing the last nine Premier League games, and as well four Champions League matches. Recent reports claimed that the 26-year-old is expected to return to action early next year. Ozil has now claimed he is working hard to shorten the process. He has not featured since suffering a partial rupture of the outer band of the left knee joint against Chelsea on October 5, with the Germany international initially told he would not play again until 2015. But after being pictured walking out for a session at the Gunners’ training base ahead of last weekend’s win over Newcastle, Ozil expects to be back soon.

“I’m working every day to get myself fit and I’m on the right path now. It won’t be too much longer before I’m back on the pitch. I hope to be back training with the whole team again as soon as possible,” the Arsenal playmaker said to the club’s official website.

“After a time, you really miss playing football. You miss the ball and just want to play. When you watch the games and think that you could have been playing, and playing well, it makes you miss it. But that’s the way things are.”

Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Newcastle left them two points off fourth-placed West Ham and with a last-16 Champions League tie with Monaco to look forward to, Ozil believes there is plenty of reasons for Arsenal fans to be optimistic heading into the new year.

“When you watch the games, we have dominated a lot of them, but have conceded unnecessary goals. That can’t happen, because in the Premier League, every team is capable of beating one another,” he added.”We have to get our points by playing the game our way and I am convinced that we will finish the season near the top of the table.”