Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger has hit back at Paul Scholes after the Manchester United hero criticised German playmaker Mesut Ozil.
As reported by the London Evening Standard, Wenger, who was speaking to reporters ahead of his side's FA Cup quart-final showdown with the Red Devils on Monday night, insisted that Scholes would have loved to have played in the same side as the ex-Real Madrid man.
Since arriving from Spanish soil, Ozil has endured a tricky time in the Premier League, having failed to hit top form for the Gunners on a consistent basis.
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And the player's recent showings prompted Scholes to suggest that he 'looks like he is going through the motions', and made the easy choice by completing a move to Wenger's side back in 2013.
However, the Arsenal chief has backed his struggling star, insisting that he 'is a great player', but has a point to prove over the coming weeks and months of the season.
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Speaking to reporters about his No.11, Wenger claimed: “I think a player like Paul Scholes would have loved to play with Mesut Ozil.
“Having said that, I believe it’s a wrong statement about Ozil. He works very hard and is a great player.
Point to prove
“Does he have a point to prove? Yes, and he knows that. We are all in a job where in every single game we have to prove a point.
“I believe he has the quality, puts a lot of effort in to help the team and works much harder than his style shows. You can be cheated a little bit by his style of play, because he is fluent, easy, subtle and does not look like he puts the effort in but he does.
“I knew he had a good physical potential but did not know how good he was physically. He has a huge physical potential.”
No doubt, Ozil will be hoping to prove some of his critics wrong, as the Gunners prepare to travel to Manchester to take on Louis van Gaal's side in the last eight of the cup.
There's no doubt about it, the game is of huge importance to both sides, as it represents the clubs' only realistic chance of landing silverware this term.
It's easy to see where Scholes is coming from when discussing the form of Ozil. In truth, the Gunners faithful probably expected more of the German international, but has he actually been that bad? Probably not.
He's certainly produced a couple of fine moments for the Gunners over the course of the last 18-months or so, but has never really proved to be the main man for the club.
Perhaps, though, he still has more to offer, and has the opportunity to prove that under the guidance of Wenger. All is not lost for the German yet, but he will be well aware that he has to deliver between now and the end of the season.
Arsenal fans: What do you think of Ozil? Has he been good enough? Have your say in the comments section below!
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