Mesut Ozil is the best in the Premier League - At what?

Ozil Arsenal 8

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil has had his fair share of criticism this season, but in one area he is the very best in the Premier League.

Arsenal's record signing has an opportunity to finish his first season in English football on a high, and end it a FA Cup winner.

Yet Mesut Ozil has not been immune from criticism, such was his smooth start to life at Arsenal, combined with a record fee - miracles were expected of the German week in week out.

When his performance levels began to dip, so did his confidence too amid the criticism, and his six week injury may actually have come at the right time to recharge his batteries ahead of the end of the season and the World Cup.

Ozil finished the Premier League season with five goals and nine assists, creditable figures, but not enough to see him finish highest in any of the standings. 

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard provided 13 assists, and even on a per game basis, allowing for Ozil's missed matches through injury, the German falls narrowly short of topping the charts.

  TeamPosAssist / appsAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 0.38 34 2,900
Luis Suarez Liverpool FW 0.36 33 2,964
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 0.35 23 1,764
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 0.35 26 2,149
Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 0.34 29 2,448

There is another area however, where Ozil can legitimately claim to be the Premier League's best, in only his debut season.

No player has made more successful passes in the final third of the pitch per game, than any other in England's top division. Talk of Ozil struggling to adapt to the Premier League, is at least on this basis, misguided.

Arsene Wenger has previously talked up the German's strength as his passing wearing down teams, as he helps the Gunners build pressure and eventually find gaps to exploit.

  TeamPosSuccessful Final Third Passes / appsAppsMins
Mesut Özil Arsenal MF 29.19 26 2,149
David Silva Man City MF 27.96 27 2,173
Santiago Cazorla Arsenal MF 25.32 31 2,597
Samir Nasri Man City MF 21.47 34 2,498
Eden Hazard Chelsea FW 21.14 35 2,895

With an injury-free season next campaign campaign, and the knowledge of his first one with Arsenal under his belt, and more weapons around him, the intelligent playmaker will be a wise bet to top the charts in further areas next season, and further demonstrate why he was worth the record fee Arsene Wenger agreed to pay for his services.

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