Arsenal star Mesut Ozil says Per Mertesacker is his role model

Per Mertesacker

The former Real Madrid man has paid credit to his compatriot at the Emirates.

Arsenal's record signing Mesut Ozil has been discussing his Gunners and formerly Germany teammate Per Mertesacker with the club website, and has made it clear that the giant centre back is a hugely important member of the squad, both as a player and as an individual.

Alongside new signing Petr Cech, the defender is one of the most senior individuals in the squad,  and the Arsenal vice-captain is someone that Ozil will know better than anyone else at the Emirates, having also played alongside him for two years at Werder Bremen.

“I always see Per as a role model,” Ozil admitted to the Arsenal site. “He always gives everything for the team, you can see that he’s determined and wants to be successful. You can sense that on the pitch.

“He’s very focused, very professional. He does his job 100 per cent - he’s not the sort of person who does things by half measures.

“He’s rather the sort of person who, if he has something in his head, wants to see it through. He looks after himself and his diet, and before matches he does his exercises to make sure that he stays fit and doesn’t pick up any injuries.

“We’re just really pleased to have him and you can sense on the pitch that he gives everything for the team.”

The two Germans won the World Cup in Brazil just over a year ago, and though Mertesacker has  retired from international football since then, having won 104 caps for his country, Ozil continues to be a key figure for his national team.

With some criticising the 26-year-old's work ethic since his move from Real Madrid, it could be argued that Ozil, more than anyone else, needs to adopt his compatriot's attitude in order fulfil his potential.

They, as well as the rest of the Gunners squad, will be eager to add a Premier League title to their international success stories, and to do that, Arsene Wenger's men will have to follow Mertesacker's commitment and dedication, starting with this weekend's opener against West Ham at the Emirates. 

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