Mesut Ozil, who arrived in the summer transfer window for £42m, has raised standards at Arsenal, according to Arsenal teammate Mikel Arteta.

The German star scored for the first time for Arsenal in the Gunners' 2-0 win last night against Napoli and set up Frenchman Olivier Giroud for the second.

The 24-year-old scored 19 goals in 105 games during his time at the Bernabeu with Real Madrid.

Arteta has been at the Emirates Stadium since joining from Everton on deadline day of the January transfer window in 2011.

And the 31-year-old admits everyone was expecting a top class player to join the squad in the summer.

Arteta told the London Evening Standard: “His signing was a great message because everyone was expecting a top player, probably a striker, but we got an amazing player who lifted everyone. It’s not only the players.

"You can see people are excited to come and watch again and that makes a big difference. When there is a player capable of producing the finish he did against Napoli, you start winning games that maybe you were losing.

“A player like Ozil gives you a step forward quality-wise and gives you another player on the pitch who can decide the game for you.

“He proved again that he is able to do it and that’s always great. The more players you have like that, the better chance you have. He’s a very intelligent player, makes good runs behind the defence and he has pace as well."

Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League on 15 points which looked less than likely considering there opening day defeat to Aston Villa.

The Gunners have not lost since the fell at home to Villa, and have capitalised on title contenders Manchester City and Manchester United's lack of consistency.

The poor form shown by Arsenal's title rivals has put increased pressure on Arsene Wenger's men to win what Arteta believes is a more open title race.

"Is the [Premier League title] race more open this season? I think so. I always said it’s the toughest league to win because you have five or six candidates this year who can win it," said the Spaniard.

“It’s still very early stages and nobody has really done anything yet but at least we’re looking good, very solid, winning the games and we’ve got a gap to some of the other teams now, while in the last few years it has been the opposite situation, so that’s very positive."

England star Jack Wilshere was on the substitutes bench until the second half against Napoli last night, and with fellow Spaniard Santi Cazorla still yet to return from injury there is plenty of competition for places in the midfield.

Arteta, who returned from a thigh injury last night, insists it could make a big difference now there is competition for places.

“If you don’t play well for one or two games, then you can be dropped,” added the 31-year-old.

“We have players to come back like Santi and Abou Diaby and that’s the way we want it. When it’s really tough, everyone is at 100 per cent and that makes a big difference.”

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Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
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