Per Mertesacker optimistic that Mesut Ozil will impress for Arsenal next season

Ozil Arsenal 5

The former German international is expecting big things of his compatriot in the coming campaign.

Arsenal defender and vice-captain Per Mertesacker has been discussing the influence of the club's record signing Mesut Ozil, ahead of the former Real Madrid star's third season at the Emirates, in an interview with the Gunners website.

Ozil has had spells of good form since arriving in 2013, but he has lacked the explosive influence Alexis Sanchez offered after his transfer from Barcelona last summer, with plenty of niggling injuries playing a part in his struggle for consistency.

But the midfielder's fellow World Cup winner Mertesacker insists Arsenal and their players have a responsibility to help the team make the most of a player with such a prodigious talent.

“He is one of our key players,” the centre back told the Arsenal site.

“Him in good fitness, him at his best - there’s a lot more to come from him and the second part of last season when he came back from injury, you could see how important he is for us as a team with his key passes, being in between the lines and always carrying a threat to the opponent.

“We need to find him and make him better, then he can show his real potential.

“The key will be not to get any injuries or niggles. He’s a good player when he’s fully fit but obviously he needs to gain that little extra, that confidence, to play his best.

“We will see - I’m pretty confident that he has his best and his first full season in front of him.”

Despite Ozil's perceived struggles in proving just how capable he is, the German is Arsenal's joint second highest assist provider after Santi Cazorla and alongside Aaron Ramsey since he arrived. He is fifth in the league when it comes to creating chances since August 2013 too, despite playing significantly fewer minutes that than those above him.

If Mertesacker is right, and the 26-year-old is about to have a top season, then it could be the midfielder, with his creativity still yet to reach its maximum, is the man that wins Arsenal the league. 

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