Mesut Özil is much maligned by the media for his lethargic attitude, but these stats suggest that the criticism he receives is somewhat unfair, as reported by the Telegraph.
The German World Cup winner has come in for a lot of criticism since his move to the Emirates, and his alleged low work-rate is one of the main reasons for that.
Based on figures compiled since his return from injury however, it would appear that the 26-year-old is anything but lazy – and in fact is the hardest working Arsenal player on the pitch.
Özil faced a lengthy spell on the sidelines following an injury sustained against Chelsea, but has looked revitalised since his return to action.
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Not only has he netted three times and provided a further seven assists in his last nine games, he has also covered more ground than any other player in the team.
He was top of the list for distance covered against Everton last weekend, and looks to be thriving in a more central role.
The former Real Madrid star is also 23rd in the Premier League for distance covered – with most of those ahead of him playing in teams near the foot of the table, who spend the majority of the game chasing the ball.
We wrote an article previously about how Özil had covered the most distance during our Champions League clash with AS Monaco. That article alone did very little to hit back at the playmaker’s critics, as the stats were only from one game.
These numbers are far more convincing however, and should go some way to getting the media (and a number of fans) off our record signing’s back.
It’s easy to see why he gets a name for being lazy, as his effortless style makes it seem like he is expending very little energy. But while he may not do as much defensive work as a few of his teammates, these stats clearly show that he is almost constantly on the move, and consistently putting the effort in.