Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil is now exerting the same sort of dynamic influence on Arsenal as Dennis Bergkamp once did, according to former France midfielder Robert Pires.
Bergkamp is ranked second on the club website’s list of all-time greats after the skilful Dutch international striker bagged 120 goals in 423 appearances for the Londoners between 1995-2006.
‘Mesut Ozil has very good qualities. He can normally score a minimum of 12 goals during the Premier League,’ Pires told Arsenal’s official website.
‘In my time the maestro was Dennis Bergkamp and now it is Mesut Ozil. I love them both because they play very good football but they play for the team.’
Pires, rated sixth on the Arsenal website’s list of all-time greats, said the German’s performances for the club this term had gone up a level.
‘Something has clicked,’ the Frenchman explained. ‘What’s happened in the head is like a click because he’s scored a lot of goals.
‘This is a difference between last season with Mesut Ozil and now because he’s thinking just for himself. Sometimes when you are in front of the target it is important to score.’
Ozil has netted seven times in 17 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season including a hat-trick in the 6-0 mauling of Bulgarian team Ludogorets in the Champions League last month.
Fourth-placed Arsenal play their first match after the international break when they visit Manchester United, who are sixth, in the Premier League on Saturday.