Arsene Wenger has defended club record signing Mesut Ozil against suggestions that his brilliant early impact is starting to fade.
Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid for £42.5million on deadline day and while he started brilliantly – scoring a wonderful goal against Napoli and providing perfect passes – he has slightly quietened recently, and was not especially influential in the 1-0 Premier League defeat at Old Trafford before the international break.
Wenger, speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial Champions League game with Marseille, fiercely defended Ozil, admitting that he can still improve – as all players can – and that he did not have the best possible pre-season, as much of his summer was dominated by speculation over his eventual move.
of all he is a hugely talented player,” Wenger said of the German
international. “He is just arrived here three months ago and overall did not
have the best of preparations for the league. He is a young player, he is 25
years old so of course there is a lot of room for improvement for him.”
Ozil has been playing behind centre-forward Olivier Giroud but Wenger said the creative responsibilities were not just his. Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are all talented players and Wenger said they have a job to do as well.
“We have plenty of players who can take the ball and play you know because he plays in the central part of the pitch the ball goes through him. But we don’t put any special responsibility on him. Maybe he feels a bit more pressure to do that. We just want the game to be played like we see it and do not put any special responsibility on him. Everybody in our team can deliver great balls.”
Ramsey has certainly been enjoying playing with Ozil, and praised his new team-mate at the pre-match press conference.
“He's been great. Having a player of his calibre coming into the team, and the way he's settled in has been quite remarkable really. He's chipped in with a few assists and a few goals already this season. He's settled into the team pretty well so we're delighted to have him here and I think you can see that by the way we've been on the pitch.”