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EPL 2016/17: Mesut Ozil can be like Dennis Bergkamp, says Arsene Wenger

Wenger also spoke about how Ozil focuses on efficiency now.

News 06 Nov 2016, 10:34 IST
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Wenger’s main man

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has hailed his midfielder, Mesut Ozil, and has urged the German wizard to sign an extension with the club in order to be in the same bracket as club legend Dennis Bergkamp.

The Dutchman stayed with the Gunners till he was 38 years old and Arsene Wenger hopes that the former Real Madrid player will also follow the same path.

“There are similarities [between Ozil and Bergkamp].”

On whether Ozil can emulate Bergkamp to become an Arsenal legend: “I think so, I think if he commits. Dennis Bergkamp committed for a long period, played until he was 38. I wish we have 10 more years of Ozil. That depends.

“To become a legend at the club you need to stay for a long time. I understand that being a legend like Dennis Bergkamp, if you stay two years you would not be a legend.”

Wenger says Ozil is mature now

Wenger then opined that the German has more maturity now, “I believe he is at an age where he is more mature.”

The Frenchman then went on to reveal the change in Ozil’s playing style ever since arriving at the club, stating that the former Werder Bremen player focuses more on efficiency now than ever before.

“He is 28. The difference today is he focuses more on efficiency. When he arrived here he was more a player to play, focused on playing. Today efficiency is more in his mind.

“The main transformation we got from him, he makes more runs in behind to score goals.”

Ozil pushes himself, says Wenger

Wenger then stated that Ozil works much harder, despite being superiorly talented than most of his peers.

“He pushes himself much more. He has that in him as well. Sometimes the trap for very talented players is it is easy for them. They know subconsciously they don’t need to push themselves too hard to be efficient.”

Ozil’s start in the Premier League wasn’t something he could be proud of. When Wenger was asked about whether shifting to England was hard for him initially, he said: “A little bit, yes.

“But he’s a player who left some people skeptical but every time you look at the game again and he had the ball more, made something intelligent happened and I was always supportive of him.”

Finally, the Arsenal manager hoped that his talisman keeps his form intact and fulfill the expectations placed on his shoulders.

“What you want from him is that he continues to play like he does at the moment.

“That means make the runs like he did in Sofia on Tuesday but of course he can be dangerous but in big games. There is always a lot of expectation from him.”

Ozil and his Arsenal team-mates take on city rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday at the Emirates. A win for Arsenal would seem them move to the top spot of the table after Manchester City’s draw last night.

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