Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has told The Sun that he has realised that talent alone is not enough to succeed in the Premier League.
The Germany international is rated as one of the most talented and created players in the world, but his performances since moving to Arsenal from Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 have left much to be desired.
Ozil started the 2013-14 season brilliantly, but after Christmas he started to struggle and was criticised for his drop in form.
The 26-year-old ended up with five goals scored and 76 chances created in 26 Premier League appearances, while having a pass accuracy of 88% and a pass accuracy of 75%.
This season, the 2014 World Cup winner struggled with injury problems, but since his return, he has played well and has re-established himself as a vital player in the Arsenal team.
The former Madrid star has now admitted that he has to work hard to step up his game.
“During my time out with a knee injury I had the opportunity to think calmly about some things,” Ozil told The Sun.
“I realised that talent alone is not enough to achieve my objectives with Arsenal. I have to work harder to reach my goals.
“I have never trained as hard as I do now. I am the first one to arrive at training and the last to leave.
“I go into the gym every day and I have added a kilo of muscle mass. My body is more stable and I feel fresher. And you need that to play in England.”
Ozil now looks fitter and more mobile, attributes that are going to help him and Arsenal fulfil the season’s objectives.
The former Werder Bremen star has scored three goals and created 35 chances in 14 Premier League matches so far this campaign, while having a pass accuracy of 87% and winning 55% of the duels.
Combined with his natural talent and the effort he is putting in the gym, Ozil could become one of the deadliest players in the Premier League next season.