Mesut Ozil is truly coming into his own at Arsenal this season and it is not surprising to see him do so. There are parts of his game which stand out as extraordinary compared to other creative attacking midfielders, and he’s shown this season that he’s unquestionably the best No.10 in the Premier League.
1) Passing ability: When passing stats in the Premier League are analysed, Ozil consistently ranks among the very best – despite the adventurous nature of his passing game. As can be seen in the Squawka comparison matrix here, Mesut Ozil’s passing numbers stand high above those of both David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne, which shows just how much quality he has.
2) Appreciation of space: This is an ability that is very hard to quantify using statistical data, but the appreciation of space is where Mesut stands out as unique. He is always available for a pass, and this allows him to control the game around him. This was especially useful to Arsenal in the presence of Santi Cazorla, as Arsenal’s highest passing combination occurred usually near the halfway line between the Spanish magician and the German genius. Whether it is about starting counter attacks or controlling the tempo of a game, Ozil’s appreciation of space a massive facet of his game.
3) Vision: The most important statistic to analyse a player’s vision is ‘key passes’, which is defined as a pass which may lead to a shot. Mesut Ozil leads the race among his contemporaries for total key passes, racking up an astounding 63 key passes. For perspective, De Bruyne has 40 key passes. An even more revealing stat is of chances created, where Ozil really comes into his own. He has created 79 chances (via Squawka) for his teammates, with 9 chances created in the last match alone – a record for the season.
4) Individuality: It is important to have leaders who are unaffected by form or pressure in every team, and while Ozil is definitely not a leader, he definitely does not get influenced by how the rest of the team is playing. Like a magician, Ozil holds the power to change the course of a game – like he did earlier in the season against bitter North London rivals Tottenham by creating a chance for Kieran Gibbs to score from – even when the team are not playing well.
5) Calmness: The vision that Ozil is renowned for and the clinical passing ability that makes him an assist machine are both a direct result of his calmness. Markers and tight defences may seem like a hard proposition, but Ozil keeps a cool head at all times and chooses the correct pass more often than anybody. He has even been channeling some of that calm into his goal scoring, which showed in his finish against Bournemouth.
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Arsenal fans will be hoping for such performances to continue and with the team at the top of the table, albeit temporarily, Ozil has the incentive to keep playing the same way. Ozil has slowly but surely turned himself into a dependable and inseperable part of this Arsenal squad.
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