Arsenal’s German international midfield playmaker Mesut Ozil has undergone an amazing transformation this season.
It seems that for the first few seasons of his Gunners career Arsenal fans were not convinced by Ozil.
His languid style of play made him look lazy and he appeared to lack the physique for the rough and tumble of the Premier League.
However this season has seen German return to his best form, as his assist spree continues unabated.
Ozil was at it again last night. The German produced two more assists as Arsenal defeated Premier League rivals Manchester City 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium. The first assist was probably lost by many in Theo Walcott’s fantastic finish.
The second was typical Ozil, as he slid an inch perfect ball through to Olivier Giroud to smash home the Gunners second of the game.
The king struggles in England
Mesut Ozil has much of his career been lauded for his ability to create a goal. He was an assist machine at Werder Bremen, before moving to Real Madrid to assist a superior standard of player that upped his assist record.
It got to a point at Real Madrid where people were disappointed if Ozil had not collected an assist, the Madridista’s were that confident in their German playmaker. There was mass uproar when Los Blancos decided to sell the creator in the summer of 2013.
Ozil was not considered to be ‘Galactico-enough’ for the Spanish clubs hierarchy. He did not fit the glamorous image that the club from the Spanish capital like to live-up to.
However, Arsenal fans hailed the record-signing of one Europe’s top attacking midfielders. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had finally blew the dust off the club wallet and brought in a top level star.
The celebration did not last long though, as Ozil failed to produce an amazing return in his first season. The German produced nine assists and five goals in the top-flight, decent, but not the sort of record expected of such a highly-talented playmaker.
Last season his form was hampered by injuries and he made just 22 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, producing four goals and five assists.
An improved in fitness
Ozil has returned to action this season like a player with fresh purpose and extra stamina from somewhere. Maybe he was suffering from fatigue after his World Cup winning exploits the previous summer.
The German is now looking like a new-improved player. He is actually playing 90 minutes of football, something he rarely did in his days at Real, although he was hooked 15 minutes from the end of last night’s game.
No doubt the move was in a bid to help his freshness, as he had finished seven of the previous eight top-flight games. Those stats are a sign that Ozil is in far better physical shape this season.
The assist machine returns
Maybe the improvement in his fitness has contributed to his fantastic assist record this season. Ozil has now collected 15 assists in the Premier League and two goals, only Leicester’s red hot pair of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez has contributed to more goals this season the top-flight.
In Alexis Sanchez’s absence Ozil has really stepped-up to the plate, but to be far to the German he had hit form no long before the Chilean picked-up his injury. Ozil is now looking like a player that cost £42.4million.
The 27-year-old has now contributed a goal or an assist in his last 11 top-flight appearances for the Gunners. He is enjoying his football and Arsenal fans are finally seeing the best of the German international star and it is about time too.
With the Gunners plagued by so many injuries to key players, Ozil’s consistent form will be even more vital as Arsenal look to secure their first Premier League title in over decade. His football intelligence and vision are finally shining through and it is beautiful to watch at times.
Arsenal must now fancy their chances of winning the Premier League and are now favourites to win the title at odds of evens.
If Arsenal is to claimed that elusive Premier League title, then the form of their undoubtedly talented German playmaker could prove the key. If he can keep creating chances and goals for his teammates, then the men from north London may finally be able to celebrate that long overdue top-flight title win.
Can Mesut Ozil’s assists help Arsenal to the Premier League title?