Arsene Wenger has piled praise on Mesut Ozil, saying the German has grown into his No 10 role for Arsenal and is now in his “golden age”.
Ozil has struggled with consistency since his move to Arsenal for a club record fee of £42.5million from Real Madrid in September 2013, but has been one of the club’s best players this term having settled into his role in the side.
The German World Cup winner scored in the 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United earlier this month and capped a fine display against Bayern in midweek with a goal in stoppage time.
“Ozil is 27 now,” Wenger said. “It is the golden age of a football player, 27 to 31 or 32, the age when you know your job.
“When you are under 25, you think you can last for ever. Once you get to 27 you realise it is time to capitalise on what you have learned and efficiency takes a little bit over the playing mood.
“You realise suddenly that it is not only important to play, it is important to win as well.”
Wenger added: “Mesut is focused on his job. Talent wise, I think deeply he is a very, very collective player.
“He is a very respectful guy. If you tell him to do that, he will do it for you.
“Mesut plays in the link between the low midfield and the striker, he is the vital part in that.
“When he has the ball in the final part of the pitch, he has the most assists.
“Sometimes I think he sacrifices himself for the team, and I think his talent is exceptional.”
Discuss Ozil’s form, and other Gunners issues, on the Arsenal Your Say forum.