Arsene Wenger has tipped Mesut Ozil to be a contender for the Player of the Season next campaign and feels the midfielder has a lot more to give.
The German international became the clubs record signing last summer and has endured a mixed first season where he has seemed fatigued prior to his hamstring injury, with the English game more physically demanding than what he’s been used to in the past.
Arsenal are hopefully set to welcome back the German this weekend against Hull City and Wenger feels he can add the missing ingredient to their recently lackluster attack.
Wenger told reporters:
He has gone through a difficult spell because physically he was not as present as you would expect him. I can understand the judgement when… you wanted more of him but I think you are right that you see his quality when he is not there.
He is a fantastic football player, and I would put him on the list to be player of the season next season.
He is a quick player and agile. He can get out of tight situations, so sometimes these players get you out of tight situations and open up to do something interesting behind that. When they are not there, you don’t get out of the situation and you lose the ball.
That’s what I wish [is that he finishes the season strongly]. He has prepared well and it depends how quickly he will come back into the pace of the game.
Before him, the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires took some time to adapt to the high demands of the Premier League. Ozil had been a key orchestrator at the heart of Real Madrid’s attacks, and according to the 24-year-old he often found teams gave up when the La Liga giants had a two goal advantage. In England teams fight to the end in hope of a come back.
This is something Ozil has learned to appreciate and has had to adjust to the more physical nature of the English game. He’s also been getting to know his new team mates and Wenger feels the continuity will begin to pay dividend next season.
The first season is the season in which you adapt and then you know what will happen and you go into it. And I believe that he will know better his partners, he will know better the league and the potential is absolutely fantastic. He will improve with goals and assists, and his presence in the game.
I think he has great physical potential and that will come out. He felt the difference between Spain and here… sometimes he was rested in Spain because he said in Spain, when you are 2-0 up, when Real Madrid are 2-0 up, what strikes him is that the teams give up. They know they will lose the game.
And he said what is the most difficult for him here is that at 2-0 up, the teams fight like mad to come back. And he felt that that was the main difference, it is that you have to fight until the last second of the game.
We’ve certainly seen glimpses of what Ozil can do, and when paired with Theo Walcott and hopefully a speedy, lethal striker next season we will see the best of the former Real Madrid and Werder Bremen star.
Cazorla had a stunning debut season but has struggled this campaign with a spot of ‘second season syndrome’, let’s hope it’s the opposite for Mesut and he gets back up to the level he’s more than capable of.
He will be a crucial figure for the remainder of Arsenal’s season, and with Ramsey back we should have what it takes to gain fourth place and the FA Cup.
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