Former Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has every faith that Mesut Ozil can still make an impact for the Gunners going forwards – but insists it’s up to him.
The playmaker is yet to make an appearance so far this season with safety concerns after an attempted carjacking preventing him from featuring against Newcastle United on the opening day.
The 30-year-old has also struggled with illness again, but returned to the bench against Tottenham Hotspur before the international break.
The ex-Germany international will be hoping to get some minutes against Watford at the weekend, and academy manager Mertesacker is backing his compatriot to come good.
He told Goal: “Yeah [I understand Arsenal fans’ frustrations with Ozil] because probably they don’t understand him.
“I know how to take him and how to try to pinch him when needed. But ultimately it has to come from him if he wants to go to the next level. But he can deliver.
“He loves playing football, it doesn’t come across so often. He is a genius in terms of what he can produce with the ball and you can see that in every training session.”
Ozil is often criticised for his languid style and is perhaps an easy target due to his huge £350,000-a-week wages.
Mertesacker is right though – Ozil is a genius on his day and can still make a big impact going forwards.
The 34-year-old is well placed to know about Ozil the man as well as Ozil the player, and so fans should have reason to be hopeful the former Real Madrid star will soon be back to his best.