Video: 'Criticism of Mesut Ozil is unfair, he will become an Arsenal legend,' claims Ian Wright

£42.5m playmaker is currently out injured with a hamstring problem

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The Independent Football

Arsenal great Ian Wright has labelled the criticism for the club's record signing Mesut Ozil as "unfair".

The £42.5m playmaker, who joined from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day in September, began his Gunners' career in impressive fashion, with four assists and three goals in his first seven matches for the north Londoners, but then went on to suffer a dip in form and is currently sidelined with a hamstring problem. Manager Arsene Wenger has already ruled him out for the crucial FA Cup semi-final against Wigan at Wembley on Saturday.

Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal between 1991 and 1998, argues that Ozil's form suffered because of the injuries to the side's runners, such as Theo Walcott, leaving the German with no outlet for his incisive passes.

"I think the criticism is unfair," Wright said about the German. "He's come over in his first season under a lot of pressure. He's got to [get used to] the pace of the game.

"He's going to need to get used to his team-mates and then Theo Walcott, someone who would get on the end of Ozil's passes, gets injured and is out for the season. So that's going to take away from Ozil's game.

"He's somebody who finishes off passes, that's the quality he's got. He was always a piece of the jigsaw, he was never the full answer."

Watch the full video of Ian Wright's interview with FA TV, in which he also discusses the upcoming FA Cup semi-final against Wigan, below...


Wright added: "I said it when he came. We needed another three or four of his calibre and once we do then people will see how great Ozil is. I think he's going to be an Arsenal legend as long as they start buying players to go with him. He's got the ability to easily become an Arsenal legend."