Arsenal record signing Mesut Ozil has admitted he was not playing his best football at the start of the season.
The German international said: "I was exhausted at the start of the season. I started playing professional football at the age of 16 and had never really suffered many serious injuries.
"I guess ten years of consistently playing football took its toll. I was also struggling with the physicality of this league."
The Arsenal star suffered a knee injury in October on international duty and was then out of action until the new year. It actually seems to have been of benefit to the playmaker because he has been one of the club's best performers in 2015.
Ozil is yet to have the luxury of spending a pre-season with Arsenal, and had a particularly short summer break thanks to his World Cup involvement.
He is ending the season with a flourish, and if he can continue his form into next season then the Gunners may finally see the best of him.
Ozil has been roundly criticised by pundits, with Michael Owen even telling BT Sport just this month that he views Liverpool's Raheem Sterling as a better player.
The Arsenal star says that he does not let such criticism affect him. He said: "I’m not really bothered what critics say. What’s important is what the manager and coaching staff think. I am a team player, I just care about always giving 100 per cent for the team."