Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that playmaker Mesut Ozil has developed into a real “leader” at the club and hailed his impact.
The German international has had a growing influence on the side this season, and recorded his 16th assist and fifth goal of the season in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth earlier in the week.
As a result, Wenger believes that his creative star is maturing into a leader and now has the ability and know-how to make the difference every week for the Gunners.
“When he was injured for a long period he worked very hard physically,” Wenger said, as reported by Sky Sports. “He is a complete athlete.
“I also believe he has grown in stature and takes responsibilities, leadership in the team and on that front he has improved tremendously and looks determined to lead the team compared to when he arrived.”
The French tactician added that he believes Ozil is also benefiting from now playing in a position that suits his game, while his teammates and the style of play in which Arsenal operate also allow him to make the most of his natural abilities.
However, perhaps the most decisive part of Ozil’s upturn in form is the fact that he has been able to steer clear of injuries ahead of entering the peak years of his career which Wenger will hope will result in many more influential performances.
Arsenal remain level with Leicester City at the top of the Premier League heading into 2016, and they will hope to get the new year off to a winning start when they host Newcastle United at the Emirates on Saturday.