Arsene Wenger has said he’s not sure if Mesut Ozil will start the match against the Black Cats but there’s every chance Arsenal’s German superstar will feature and give a glimpse of just what he can do.
The dust has settled on the £42.5 million transfer, he’s done his first press conference and he’s trained with the Gunners for the first time, all that’s left is to watch how his journey at Arsenal unfolds.
Plenty has been said and written about how Ozil will help Arsenal but there are several ways that the Gunners can help him to become a better player as a club.
Firstly, Wenger talked about responsibility and leadership at that press conference yesterday, suggesting that he wants Ozil to become a leader in the current group of players.
“Ozil has a style that will integrate our style of play. He has all the attributes to be one of our leaders,” said the Frenchman.
It will be interesting to see how he handles that pressure of being a leader because he had far more protection in the form of high profile players at Real Madrid.
It should make him an even more demanding player than he already is. He’ll expect the rest of the Arsenal side to be on his wavelength and the extra responsibility means he’ll have to be far more aggressive in terms of demanding the best from his teammates.
The physical angle is also something that will help him become a better player at Arsenal.
The Premier League is a far more aggressive and physical league than La Liga, which means Ozil will have to become that little bit fitter and that little bit stronger in an Arsenal shirt.
That can only aid the other parts of his game which are already world class, making him ever so slightly sharper and quicker with decision making as players bear down on him looking to put their foot through him.
The manager is also key because Wenger can help Ozil develop into a better player more effectively than plenty of other managers around in top flight European football.
Wenger has so much experience of how to develop players of all ages that it’s only natural he will start making some subtle changes to the German’s game.
That could come in a variety of different forms such as developing Ozil’s instincts as a goal scorer while trying to maintain his brilliant record providing assists as a creative midfielder.
The journey starts this weekend and it will be fascinating to see how he changes in an Arsenal shirt.
How do you think Arsenal will improve Ozil?
image: © jansolo09