by Mosope Ominiyi
Following a turbulent season with the Gunners, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has praised his team-mate Mesut Özil.
The 26-year-old creative midfielder was ruled out of action for three months back in October after suffering an injury during the 2-0 away defeat against this season’s Premier League champions Chelsea, but regained the type of world-class form that critics and supporters alike have become accustomed to, having returned to first-team action in January of this year.
Özil has been highly regarded as one of the most impressive Premier League players in 2015 for his consistent displays, as he was previously criticised for an apparent lack of effort when featuring.
His stats for the 2014-15 campaign were intriguing to say the least, as the silky German creative midfielder completed 65 key passes, created 70 chances and made five assists in the English top flight alone (stats from Squawka).
Szczesny, who has gone through a quiet spell of his own recently due to a smoking incident after their disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Ronald Koeman’s Southampton side, said the following on the official Arsenal site:
“It’s his calmness and his vision on the pitch is something that you don’t get to see when you watch 90 minutes of football, sometimes you’re out there training with Mesut and he just comes out with some ridiculous passes.
“I’m back there and see the whole pitch so I should be able to see all the passes but what he does is just different class. I really admire Mesut, love watching him and training with him out on the training pitch. With all the players fit, he’s had more chances to play with top-quality players.
“Also with the likes of Theo [Walcott] coming back and Alexis [Sánchez] signing, he’s had more chances to play balls through the defence and cut teams open.
“He’s had a chance to play with fantastic players and it obviously makes him better as well.”
Szczesny’s future has been the talk of the town recently, with many newspaper outlets suggesting that either he, or Colombian ‘keeper David Ospina will be sold to make way for a new goalkeeper at the Emirates this summer – with Chelsea’s experienced Petr Cech unhappy with the lack of first-team football he is receiving, having been displaced in the Blues’ team by talented 23-year-old Thibaut Courtois over the past twelve months.
Özil meanwhile will be hoping to help guide Arséne Wenger’s men to more silverware, after two back-to-back FA Cup triumphs in his first two seasons in north London.
The UEFA Champions League has eluded them as a competition which they struggle against the bigger sides over the past few years, but if they are able to keep their players fit and stay consistent throughout the season, there is no reason as to why they will not be able to progress through to the latter stages of the prestigious competition, as well as mounting a serious title challenge to Chelsea and their other league rivals.