by Nia Griffiths
Per Mertesacker has revealed that his compatriot, Mesut Ozil, needs to remain injury-free throughout next season to really hit his stride and find his level.
Ozil unfortunately suffered a severe knee ligament injury against Chelsea last season and regaining his fitness, along with fighting for his space back in the team, took a little while. Arsene Wenger stood by him and allowed him to return at his own pace, despite how desperately we needed him in the side, and once he did, he was back to his old ways.
Ozil makes holding onto the ball look like the easiest thing in the world and can pick a pass through the eye of a needle – a fact not lost on the Vice-Captain. “He is one of our key players,” he stated.
He continued, “Him in good fitness, him at his best – there’s a lot more to come from him and the second part of last season when he came back from injury, you could see how important he is for us as a team with his key passes, being in between the lines and always carrying a threat to the opponent.
“We need to find him and make him better, then he can show his real potential.”
He went on to speak about the playmaker’s luck, or lack thereof, when it comes to injuries, and highlighted keeping him fit as a huge goal for the upcoming season.
“The key will be not to get any injuries or niggles. He’s a good player when he’s fully fit but obviously he needs to gain that little extra, that confidence, to play his best.
“We will see – I’m pretty confident that he has his best and his first full season in front of him.”