Mesut Ozil’s displays have deeply impressed Arsene Wenger, who says the Germany international has earned his PFA Player of the Year nomination.
Ozil has been Arsenal’s standout performer in 2015-16, registering eight goals and 19 assists in all competitions.
It has not been enough to inspire the Gunners to any silverware, however, with Wenger’s men likely to have to make do with another top-four finish to console themselves.
Ozil’s individual performances saw him included in the shortlist for the PFA award, along with the Leicester City trio of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Dimitri Payet of West Ham.
“He has been more efficient,” said Wenger in a media conference.
“He has created more chances and scored more goals. I hope he will get 10 goals because that is the tally he should get.
“But he is miles ahead on assists and deserves this kind of award.”
Arsenal head into Sunday’s home clash with Crystal Palace 13 points behind surprise leaders Leicester – albeit with a game in hand – and Wenger refuses to concede that their title hopes are over.
“We need a strong run now,” he said. “There is pressure but a lot of pressure on the teams around us.
“It is perceived the title is over but I don’t think that completely. We have to fight from now until the end of the season.”