Arsene Wenger made a pretty big prediction last season, suggesting that in 2015/16 Mesut Özil would be competing for the Player of the Season award. That doesn’t seem that crazy now though, with the German bagging his sixteenth assist against Bournemouth and playing arguably the best football of his career.
Özil has taken a huge amount criticism since his arrival at Arsenal, much of it totally unfair. He hasn’t always performed at the level we all know he’s capable of, but the flak he’s taken has still been a little harsh at times.
There are very few slinging barbs at him now though, as the playmaker has been setting the Premier League alight with his performances during the first half of the campaign.
Wenger tipped him to be on the list of players battling it out for Player of the Season, and he’s certainly there at the moment.
The likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez are surprise candidates, with their stellar performances this season seeing Leicester City continue to compete with Manchester City and ourselves at the top of the table. There’s still half a season to go though, and many expect the Foxes to drop off.
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If Özil keeps performing even close to the level he’s been at so far this season, then it’s hard to see anyone else challenging him for the title. Not only does he look likely to set a new record for assists in one season, he’s also been adding goals to his game. He took his goal against Bournemouth superbly this past Monday night, and is starting to be spoken about in the same breath as the best players in the world, never mind the Premier League.
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Wenger is known for keeping faith in his players through difficult periods, and that faith is probably a large part of the reason Özil is performing. If we do end up winning the league this season Özil will have played a massive role, and being part of the title winning side would go a long way towards securing him the Player of the Season award.
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