Arsenal star Mesut Ozil receives special praise from Jose Mourinho

Emirates Stadium 2

The Special One at Chelsea believes German trequartista, currently on World Cup duty, is "special player".

When Mesut Ozil's transfer to Arsenal was confirmed in the eleventh hour of the transfer window last summer, excitable purists not only embraced the coup, but likened the erstwhile Real Madrid superstar's close control to the finesse possessed by former Gunners great Dennis Bergkamp.

While the Germany international returned impressive statistics for the Premier League season as a whole - including an 88% passing accuracy, a 35% crossing accuracy, the creation of 76 goal-scoring opportunities and nine assists - he was not exempt from criticism, with detractors highlighting his game-to-game inconsistencies and how his form as a whole contrasted to his time at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

There was even an argument that Ozil was capable of greater performances at Real because his then manager Jose Mourinho was not as reliant on him as Arsene Wenger was in North London. Mourinho used Ozil sparingly, with the 25-year-old not only benefitting from a winter break, but also rarely completing a full 90 minute match. At Arsenal, he was seldom substituted.

"It's hard to criticise him because Ozil is Ozil," offered Mourinho when assessing the player to Yahoo.

"If you are expecting Ozil to be super aggressive and running miles and miles side to side and to show great enthusiasm and aggressivity - this is not Mesut. If you are waiting for somebody who every time he touches the ball, the ball smiles and every time he makes the pass the ball goes in the right direction with the right speed and intensity - this is Mesut."

Mourinho also revealed an intimate detail about Ozil, that he requires nurturing and confidence just as much as any other player - an arm over his shoulder, as it were.

"I learned with him that he is very sensitive boy," said Jose. "He needs confidence and trust and that people are with him. On the pitch, every time he touches the ball, the ball goes beautiful and he finds always the right man in the right place."

The Special One concluded: "He's a special player."

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