Arsene Wenger has praised Mesut Ozil for improving his goalscoring record and says the Germany international has become a “killer” in front of goal for the Gunners.
Ozil scored a glorious late winner to seal a memorable comeback victory for Arsenal against Ludogorets on Wednesday and take his tally to the season to seven goals already.
Only top scorers Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott, with eight, have scored more goals than Ozil and Wenger has explained how he has added goals to his game.
“The difference today is he focuses more on efficiency,” Wenger told the official Arsenal website. “When he arrived here he was more focused on playing. Today efficiency is more in his mind.
“The main transformation we got from him [is that he] makes more runs in behind to score goals. I always encouraged him. I convinced him that he has it in his locker to score goals.
“He was more focused on giving and looking [before] – today he understands that he can have those qualities but as well be on the end of things.
- Mesut Ozil to ‘terminate contract’ with Arsenal and join boyhood club
- [Player ratings] Arsenal 0-0 Crystal Palace: Flying save earns Gunners a drab point
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Crystal Palace – ‘Special’ star returns
“The timing of his runs is good. In training I noticed he is a very good finisher. When you have that in your locker, you have to try to get it out. Slowly, he now realises that.
“On top of that he has a fantastic attribute of a guy who is a good finisher – he is calm. You notice all the finishers are killers. That means they keep their nerve in front of goal and he has that.”
Arsenal take on Tottenham on Sunday in the north London derby and Wenger is hopeful that Ozil can maintain his current superb form and inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
“What you want from him is that he continues to play like he does at the moment. That means make the runs like he did in Sofia on Tuesday,” he added.
“Of course he can be dangerous but in big games there is always a lot of expectation on him. But we have not as well to think that he will do it, we have to produce a team performance.
“We have plenty of players who can make a difference on the day and not to [always] expect from Ozil to deliver something special.”
Ozil’s goalscoring record at Arsenal have frequently come under scrutiny but there can be few complaints this campaign with the Germany international having started the season superbly.