Arsenal icon Lauren has given his verdict on Gunners midfielder Mesut Ozil and shared some words of advice for the player, in conversation with Goal.com.
Ozil has featured sporadically under Mikel Arteta and, after English football resumed in June, he did not play a single minute in the Premier League or FA Cup, a back injury cited as the issue.
It looked as though the 31-year-old’s time at Arsenal was set to come to an end, but he was a surprise starter in last Saturday’s 3-2 friendly defeat at home to Aston Villa.
A report in The Sun then suggested that Arteta is resigned to the prospect of Ozil seeing out his contract, which runs out next summer, and is looking at ways to keep him involved, such as using him in a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.
Admittedly, the Gunners boss did say last month that “everybody starts from zero” and that”everybody is going to have the same opportunities” this coming season, good news for the likes of Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi.
Lauren says Ozil is a “top player” but would like to see him show the same mentality as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in terms of committing to each and every game.
“If you ask any Arsenal fan around the world, nobody will doubt Ozil’s quality,” the Invincibles ace told Goal.com.
“Maybe it’s a bit risky what I’m about to say now, but I would like to see the same mentality from Ozil as we see with Aubameyang, every single game and every single year.
“This is the big difference between him and Aubameyang. Aubameyang is the one you can see committing in every single game without thinking about himself. I would like to see Ozil in that way because he’s a top player.
“So Mesut has to wait for his chance, work hard and show the same commitment and fighting spirit that the other top players did, as Aubameyang has been doing for the last few years.”
It remains to be seen whether Arteta will make use of Ozil against Fulham, particularly given the Cottagers are one of the sides who could potentially look to shut up shop and stifle the Gunners.
Ozil stated on social media earlier this week that he’s fit and raring to go for the game against the Premier League newcomers, so that’s promising.
If the £350,000-a-week ace goes on to do what Lauren says and applies himself at the same level of Aubameyang over the coming season, he could well finish his time at the Emirates Stadium in the same way he arrived – as a hero.