- Premier League
Wenger: Ozil is a perfect player
Arsene Wenger has claimed Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is a 'perfect' player and insisted the Germany midfielder does not get the credit he deserves.
Ozil has been the subject of plenty of negative publicity since his £42.4 million move from Real Madrid last summer, with his critics claiming he has had a limited impact in big games since his arrival.
Yet Wenger offered a stout defence of the midfielder, who also claimed he is wasted on the left and is one of the best No.10's in the world, and insisted the 25-year-old was an underrated member of his squad.
"People are very harsh on Ozil because he's a player who is easy with his play," Wenger said. "He will never be a tackler, but he's not getting enough praise.
"When you watch his game back the next day you think 'what a player'. Everything he does is intelligent and the timing of absolutely everything he does is absolutely perfect.
"You never catch him giving the ball too late. The number of players you catch giving the ball too late is unbelievable. You never get that with Ozil.
"He's like a guy who plays music with perfect timing. There aren't many players like that. There's been the same debate about him in Germany, but he was always in the team in the World Cup."
Wenger went on to reiterate that Ozil's German World Cup-winning colleague Lukas Podolski still had a future at Arsenal, despite persistent speculation linking him with a move away from the club in recent weeks.
Podolski has played as a central striker during career. But it is clear that Wenger does not see the 29-year-old fulfilling that role in his team following the injury to Olivier Giroud, who is out of action for the rest of 2014 after undergoing ankle surgery.
"Lukas can score goals, but he's not a real centre-forward," Wenger said. "He's a player on the flank or behind the striker, but is not a target man.
"He likes to come to the ball and is a very good link player. He has a role to play. He won't go out. At the moment I see Yaya Sanogo and Alexis Sanchez as players who can go in behind."