Former Arsenal forward Charlie Nicholas has hailed Mesut Ozil as coming “from a different planet” after the playmaker’s spectacular Champions League winner against Ludogorets Razgrad.
Ozil, 28, produced a sublime solo effort in the 88th minute as Arsenal came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in Bulgaria, using his delicate touch to first lift the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper and then avoid two defenders before scoring into an empty net.
“Ozil was just different class.” Nicholas told Sky Sports. “He comes from another planet that no other Arsenal player has found yet. He’s got loads of good talent and loads of good movement. Ozil was absolutely wonderful.”
The Germany international also set up Granit Xhaka for Arsenal’s first goal of the night and now has seven goals in all competitions for the Gunners this season — just one shy of his total for last term.
And, according to Nicholas, Ozil is delivering in big moments, including his goal and overall performance in the 3-0 Premier League win over Chelsea in September.
“He proved his point against Chelsea when they had stumbled for so long against Chelsea. He was a big player and scored a goal that day,” Nicholas said, adding that Ozil must keep up his form for the upcoming games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United. “These are must-win games where big-time players need to turn up for the big events.”
Nicholas also said the return to fitness of Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey coupled with the strong form of players like Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott means Arsenal “have got that swagger about them” at the moment.
“Ozil is in top form, Sanchez and him are knitting together, you have got Giroud fighting too,” he said. “Walcott is pushing through with real pace, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain is pushing for his position and Ramsey is back in.
“You are looking at Barcelona’s bench tonight and Real Madrid and Atletico [Madrid], and very few have the strength in depth that Arsenal have, but can they piece it all together and give it their competitive edge? Is this the time?”