It’s impossible to understate just how important Mesut Ozil has been for Arsenal this campaign.
The German has set up 17 of their 41 league goals and whipped in the cross that Danny Welbeck headed home to give the Gunners a 2-1 win against Leicester on Sunday.
Ozil is three assists shy of Thierry Henry’s record 20 assists in one season but he’s already surpassed Steven Gerrard’s best haul in one key statistic.
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The Mirror have discovered the 106 chances Ozil has created this season is more than Gerrard managed in any of his 17 seasons at Liverpool.
In 2007-08, the Anfield legend set his best tally when he created 104 chances.
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Ozil still has 12 games to extend his lead over Gerrard, too.
However, Gerrard’s goalscoring record trumps Ozil’s. The former England midfielder scored 186 goals in 17 seasons for the Reds according to the Independent, an average of nearly 11-per-season. Meanwhile, Ozil is yet to reach double figures in any of his three seasons in England.
Frank Lampard holds the record for chances created in a season - he made 134 goalscoring opportunities in 2008-09. At Ozil’s current rate of 4.4 chances made per game, he will overtake the Chelsea legend with 159 threats created.
The 27-year-old is 10 chances shy of breaking Arsenal’s record, set by Cesc Fabregas in 2006-07.
It shows just how productive the former Real Madrid man has been in Arsenal’s title hunt. Signed for £42.5 million in 2013, Gunners fans have had to wait to see Ozil at his fluent best but it’s been well worth it, and it will be even more so if the season ends in Premier League glory.
Sunday’s last-gasp win closed Leicester’s lead over Tottenham and Arsenal to two points, with many suggesting the Gunners’ comeback victory will serve as the perfect motivational tool in helping Arsene Wenger’s side to their first title in 12 years.
Arsenal fans have become accustomed to seeing their side break down at the latter stages of a title race but the way in which they broke down a resilient Leicester defence was impressive. In previous seasons, Arsenal have wasted such fine opportunities like they were presented against the 10-man Foxes.
But there are a host of reasons why the north London club will be optimistic of ending their lengthy title drought. Unlike Leicester and Tottenham, the Gunners have been in plenty of title chases and have two players in Ozil and Alexis Sanchez who can inspire them to the trophy.
That said, Spurs look like the most complete team of the trio following their 2-1 win at Manchester City on Sunday while Leicester only have 12 games remaining - Arsenal and Tottenham could play at least 20 more games due to European and FA Cup commitments.
It promises to be an enthralling finale and Ozil will be one of the main characters involved.
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