Following his man of the match performance against Manchester City on Monday night – inevitably including two assists – it seems possible that Mesut Ozil could one day have his own statue outside Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
However, if Ozil is to be given a place alongside the immortalised Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Tony Adams, he will certainly have to stay in north London beyond his contract, which expires in 2018.
Reports would have us believe that Arsene Wenger is already pushing through a club-record deal to extend it, but that, apparently, is wide of the mark.
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Ozil has revealed that he is in no rush to prolong his stay in north London and is not currently in talks with the club. With 30 months remaining on his current deal, there is no rush, of course, and the playmaker has insisted that he is very happy with life at Arsenal.
“My contract runs until 2018, that is for another two and a half years,” he told Kicker. “There is no need to hurry. There are no talks at the moment, but I can only say that I am very happy in London and that my decision to come here from Real Madrid was the right one. There is not a single day, apart from when I was injured, that I have not felt great at Arsenal.”
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Rewind 12 months and a contract extension would be the last thing fans were calling for with regards to Ozil. In fact, after a less than impressive start to his second season at the Emirates, many were calling for Wenger to cash in.
To make matters worse, his poor form was compounded with a serious knee injury in October, keeping him out until January. But it was that lengthy layoff that gave him a chance to turn his Arsenal career around.
“The biggest change started when I was injured last year and I changed my diet and started to look at the small details in my life,” the 27-year-old said. “For example, I started to have physiotherapy on my days off and made sure I had a good sleep. That is crucial over here [in England].
"It is the fastest league in the world and we often play twice a week with no winter break.
“I also missed football a lot when I was injured and I don’t want that to happen again,” Ozil added. “That’s why I am doing everything I can to avoid it now. It is also the case that when you are playing well you get more confident. The team is more mature and more consistent this season and I get a lot of help on the pitch. It is only because of their help I can do my best.”
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