The 26-year-old set up Olivier Giroud for Arsenal’s opener against Aston Villa, before he himself scored the second goal of the game. Playing on the left of midfield out of his usual number 10 position, Ozil showed the kind of form that he displayed during his opening weeks at the Emirates Stadium, but has been absent for much of his career in North London.
Although not naturally a left-sided winger, the German international showed some real talent on the flanks to accommodate the in-form Santi Cazorla into the centre of the field, although it did limit his influence in front of goal. A much more direct player than Cazorla, Ozil offers a greater goal threat than the Spaniard, although when on the wing he cannot get into the goalscoring positions to take advantage of.
Fellow German teammate Mertesacker acknowledged that Ozil performed well in his weaker position, and he feels the defence benefits from his placing on the wing.
Speaking to the Standard, Mertesacker said: “It was not his best position in my opinion, he played more on the left side, but he can play anywhere up front. It is good for him to get back his fitness, [and] maybe on the wing he is doing a bit more defensive work as well.”
The experienced centre-back believes that Ozil has always had the talent to perform well, but he feels as if the forward needs to become more selfish in his play to guarantee himself a higher goal return.
He added: “He was always that promising talent, and now he is showing a lot more, he has had so much experience in his young career.
“Sometimes I wish he is more selfish in front of the goal, as you can see when he breaks through the lines, he should have scored instead of looking for another player.”