Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes club record signing Mesut Ozil is settling in well at his new club, and has highlighted his extraordinary footballing potential.
The former Werder Bremen defender has witnessed a growing German contingent arriving with the likes of Ozil, Podolski, Gnabry, Eisfeld and Zelalem in and around the squad, and the centre half feels having compatriots around has helped Ozil settle in quickly.
Mertesacker has also taken it upon himself to help his fellow international star to adjust to life in London, making him feel more comfortable in the England capital so the club can wreak the benefits on the pitch as soon as possible.
The 29-year-old told Sky Sports:
Mesut can play football, that is what his aim is to be here to do, so it is just the little details.
It is things like how to get on (in London), how to come to the training ground, to get to whatever he wants to go. It is just a quick call or a text, you can help him out.
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I need to (help Ozil settle), because it is very important to get him into the squad quickly, so that he can adapt and play with freedom.
That is what he is – his vision is enormous and with him we are more dangerous and can compete at the higher levels.
We try to make it comfortable for him to adapt as quickly as possible and it fits.
Against Napoli, you felt that he could play 90 minutes on a high level, he can make the difference at any time in the game.
We are delighted to have him here and to help him to get into the team. He has shown that he respects our game and that he does fit in.
We can expect a lot (more) from him in the coming weeks, you could see that we needed his contribution and he is the right addition.
At first I was on my own here, with no Germans in the senior Arsenal squad, so it took me maybe one season to settle in completely.
The BFG has come under plenty of criticism during his time in north London, however he has been one the key factors of Arsenal’s resurgence as genuine title contenders this season, essentially becoming the club’s first choice centre back after some excellent performances in 2013. He added:
I am delighted with my current form and my performances, but in football life changes so quickly, you have to be aware of every situation.
We have a good and strong squad, if everybody is fit, the boss has a good selection.
I think we now have a squad to compete at the high level and that is what we need to do in the coming weeks.
The ‘Sack has adapted well to the Premier League, forming an unbreakable partnership with Laurent Koscielny at the expense of Thomas Vermaelen. Not only is he a natural leader, but technically he has improved tremendously despite his lack of speed. He has shown why Wenger wanted the German in the first place, and alongside Mikel Arteta, were key buys in the last minute spending spree in the 2011 summer.
He has also been instrumental with helping Ozil settle and that only bodes well for the teams chance for silverware this season. The attacking midfielder has been a stellar signing and we’ve just seen a preview of the great things to come from the midfield magician.
Well done to Mertesacker, what a boss!