Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas has told BBC Sport that Arsenal attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil is not a lazy player.
Jenas, who played for Tottenham from 2005 to 2013, made the comments following the Germany international’s performance in the North London derby.
“Some people still seem to have the perception that Ozil is lazy, or a luxury player, so it is worth highlighting again how hard he actually works,” the former Spurs and Newcastle United star told BBC Sport.
“He does more work for the Arsenal team than any other midfielder or forward bar Aaron Ramsey and covers a lot of ground right across the pitch.”
“Ozil has the imagination to hold on to it a little bit longer because he knows the picture will change if the defence are anticipating a one-two or an early ball, and that might leave him some space,” added the 32-year-old.
“So he is not lazy, either off the ball or on it. Even if he was, what he brings to the team means his team-mates would not mind.”
Ozil is not one of the quickest players, but he is certainly one of the most creative and inventive footballers in the world.
The former Real Madrid star created 70 chances in 22 Premier League appearances last season, while so far this campaign he has created 54 chances in just 11 matches.
The 27-year-old provided the assist which led to Arsenal’s equaliser in the North London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday evening.
Just because Ozil does not run around all the time does not mean that he is ‘lazy’.
Ozil is a cultured footballer, and Premier League followers should be happy that he is playing in England.