Germany’s World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm has paid the ultimate compliment to Arsenal superstar Mesut Ozil by saying the German playmaker is “probably the most intelligent player in Europe today.”
Let’s check the full quotes, courtesy Daily Mirror:
“Mesut is probably the most intelligent player I have ever played with, he is probably the most intelligent player in Europe today.
“Mesut sees things only he can — his vision is as good as I have ever seen.
“It was laughable when he was being questioned after his move to Arsenal.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are, everybody needs time to settle in a new league. Especially a league like England, where you don’t get as much time on the ball, and of course the game is a lot more physical.
“People don’t necessarily understand his game, he isn’t there to run at players or even beat them, he is far more intelligent than that.
“He finds space and creates chances for his team mates, and you only need to look at the assist table to understand there is nobody better than him at that.”
In March 2014, after Arsenal’s Champions League defeat to Bayern, Ozil received severe criticisms from the UK media and the Arsenal fans. He was short of confidence and his career in English football had hit rock bottom.
Fast forward November 2015, Ozil returns to Munich as a player reborn. He is enjoying his best form in an Arsenal shirt since his £42m move from Real Madrid.
Mesut Özil: Has been directly involved in 9 goals (7 assists, 2 goals) in his last 7 competitive appearances for Arsenal #AFC
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 31, 2015
With nine assists to his name, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues, Ozil has played a key role in Arsenal’s resurgence to the top.
Furthermore, Ozil has created 47 chances this season, and Arsenal will be looking for a special performance from him as the Gunners hoping to pull off a memorable victory in Munich to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
Ozil never adopted the role out wide and became only influential when deployed in the middle. His vision and ability to pick killer passes has unlocked the pace of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez, both have benefitted largely helping Arsenal mount a serious title challenge.
Lahm claims that Ozil has made a huge difference for Arsenal in their quest for Premier League title and believes the Gunners are still capable of challenging for the Champions League as well.
“Arsenal have a very good team, but it is the form of Mesut that has turned them into challengers,” he added.
“They are seriously challenging Manchester City for the title in England, and even after a poor start in Europe they can challenge for the Champions League.
“We don’t get beaten often, but we did in London. That would have given Arsenal confidence, and I am sure they now have the belief they can come to Munich and get a good result.”
Arsenal are bottom of Group F with three points and the Gunners need a huge slice of luck to qualify for the knock out stages.