Is Mesut Özil Arsenal's most important player?
As Arsenal look to cement a real title-challenge this season, having all of their players fit and firing will be crucial to a successful season. None more so than midfielder Mesut Özil, who fired in an impressive 19 assists last season, one short of the record set by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.
With the World Cup-winning German firing, Arsenal could have a very successful season. But just how important is he?
Over the next few pages, here are three things Özil does that makes him so important to Arsenal:
He breaks down defences
So many times, we see teams travel to the Emirates and shut up shop as a tactic to try and retrieve as many of the three points on offer on the day. It makes sense – why attack in numbers if the other team will just scythe through you on the counter?
Especially against Arsenal, teams can be successful defending for long periods of the game. With Özil in form though, this can be so different. He creates chance after chance, spawning opportunities for the likes of Giroud, Sanchez and this season; possibly Perez, to put away.
He finds the decisive pass that can make a game, it just needs to be put away by the man leading the line. 19 assists don’t lie – Özil makes the goals happen. Especially against defensive teams at home, this is vital.