Painted as a shy and reserved character, Mesut Özil is coming out of his skin much more at Arsenal this season.
His performances have been one thing, but we are seeing a much more vocal and much more aggressive Özil on the pitch. It can often come across as frustration but, ultimately, you can just tell how much the playmaker cares.
According to he man himself, without being in-your-face, he has become something of a leader behind the scenes at the club as well.
“I don’t have to be loud, I don’t have to slate people in the dressing room,” the 27-year-old told the latest edition of Arsenal Magazine. “That’s never been my way, but I’ve spoken a lot in front of the squad this season, especially in the situations where we’ve been behind at half-time and I’ve encouraged the team.
“It’s the same on the pitch. When you’re always there for the team, when you’re playing every week, you become a leader.”
It may be hard to picture, especially as his English still isn’t perfect (he apologised for his language skills in his latest Sky Sports interview), but Özil is clearly taking on more responsibility at the club both off and on the pitch.
The World Cup winner has without doubt been Arsenal’s star man this season, but he is only interested in helping others.
“I prefer to talk to them and help where I can. I want to be there for the team but I think that’s a normal way to look at things.”
With the ball and in the dressing room, Mesut Özil just won’t stop assisting his teammates.