Best yet to come from Ozil - Wenger
Published 17/04/2014 | 22:47
Manager Arsene Wenger hopes Mesut Ozil can make a big impact on his return to fitness and help secure a successful end to Arsenal's campaign.
The Germany playmaker has not featured since limping off at half-time in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich on March 11 with a hamstring injury, but could feature in the squad for the Barclays Premier League trip to Hull on Easter Sunday.
Wenger accepts Ozil looked "a bit jaded" as he struggled for consistent form after a positive start following his arrival from Real Madrid on summer transfer deadline day for £42.5million.
However, the Gunners boss is in no doubt the best is yet to come from the 25-year-old, whom he believes can be crowned player of the season in 2015.
"Ozil has prepared well (since his injury) and it depends how quickly he will come back into the pace of the game," said Wenger, whose side will also face Hull in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 17.
"He is a quick player and agile, so sometimes these players get you out of tight situations and open up to do something interesting behind (the defence) and, when they are not there, you don't get out of the situation and you lose the ball.
"He has gone through a difficult spell because physically he was not as present as you would expect him to be, and I can understand the judgement at the time when he was sometimes a bit (below form), you wanted more of him, but I think you are right that you see his quality when he is not there.
"The first season (in the Premier League) is the season in which you adapt and then you know what will happen and you go into it, and I believe that (next season) he will know better his partners, he will know better the league and the potential is absolutely fantastic."
Wenger revealed it was the intensity of commitment rather than match tempo which Ozil had found the biggest change in his new environment.
"Sometimes he was rested in Spain because he said in Spain, when Real Madrid are 2-0 up, what strikes him is that the teams give up, they know they will lose the game," Wenger said.
"What is the most difficult for him here is that 2-0 up, the teams fight like mad to come back. He felt that was the main difference, that (in the Premier League) you have to fight until the last second of the game."