Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka explained to reporters ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with Arsenal how Jose Mourinho pressured Mesut Ozil in order to get the best out of him, the Daily Mail report.
The Germany international played under the current Chelsea manager and his assistant Karanka during a three-year spell at La Liga giants Real Madrid.
He was extremely successful in the Spanish capital, helping the club win the Copa Del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and La Liga ahead of a dominant Barcelona side.
Since trading the Santiago Bernabeu for Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2013, many observers feel that Ozil has failed to hit the same heights from his time in Spain, despite an impressive start for the Gunners.
Karanka, however, believes the former Werder Bremen ace can still become one of the world’s best players and revealed that Mourinho got the best out of him by pushing his limits.
“He can be one of the best in the world, his left foot is amazing. He needs a manager who puts pressure on him because he's the kind of player who is maybe a little bit relaxed when the manager is not behind him, and with us he was always perfectly good. Jose was always behind him,” Karanka explained.
Ozil has played 53 games in all competitions for the Gunners since moving to the Emirates, scoring 11 goals and helping the club lift the FA Cup last May.
He is likely to be selected for tomorrow’s match against the Championship promotion hopefuls and, in the absence of Alexis Sanchez, his fellow teammates will be looking to him to provide that creative spark.