Rejuvinated Mesut Ozil can fire Arsenal to the Premier League title

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After Sergio Aguero scored the decisive winner in Manchester City's 2-1 win at Watford last weekend, Sky Sports pundit Thierry Henry summed up the Argentine's importance: "He is the key. The goals they have been missing away from home are because he has been injured or not performing."

In a season more unpredictable than ever before, the best players add a sense of certainty - they are reliable. If Aguero's influence on City's chances this year is pivotal, then the performances of Mesut Ozil will be a huge factor if Arsenal are to win their first league title for over a decade.

There is no doubt the German is a man transformed this season. Not only are the numbers up, but the change in confidence is there for all to see.


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Of course, Ozil plays a different role to Aguero and both influence in different ways. The latter boasts lethal finishing, whereas the former is the master creator. "Mesut sees things that most players don’t even see on the pitch," said Theo Walcott, following the Gunners' 2-0 victory over Bournemouth.

In many ways, this has been a breakthrough season for Ozil. During his first two seasons in England, opinion was rife that the Germany international disappeared in the bigger games when he was needed most.

Following a World Cup-winning summer with Germany in 2014, amidst all the euphoria, Ozil looked exhausted upon his return. Perhaps a break last summer has proved key.

Time away from the pitch has done the 27-year-old the world of good and it's his consistent displays that are getting Arsenal over the line in tight matches. That is what quality players do - they bail you out just when you think it might not be your day.

The numbers Ozil has racked up this season serve to emphasise how pivotal he is to the Arsenal cause. The midfielder has 16 league assists this season - the most in Europe by some distance.

Not only that, but Arsenal's playmaker averages 4.4 key passes per game - also the best in Europe. The fact that no one has come close to him this season suggests just how influential a player he has become.

And it's the same story in the Premier League. Ozil crafted 134 clear-cut chances in 2015, streets ahead of his nearest challenger Eden Hazard with 98.

Ozil's return to form has undoubtedly proved dividends in the club's title bid, but there are other factors, of course.

The signing of Petr Cech has proved a masterstroke, his presence, experience, quality and title-winning mentality all invaluable additions to a defence previously scrutinised for being fragile.

But it's arguably a rejuvenated Ozil that is providing most room for comfort for Arsenal fans, who were beginning to fear their star player wasn't the player his £42.5 million fee suggested.

The former Real Madrid man is a different animal this season - a more experienced, confident player who now knows what it takes to succeed in what is regarded the world's toughest league. Ozil is finally producing is best football.

"The guy is just amazing," Henry continued. "Finally we're starting to see what type of player he can be and what type of player he actually is.

"He didn't perform in his first seasons but he is definitely doing it at the moment. It's his vision, he always puts the ball where you need it. He sees everything, and when you play with a player like that, anything can happen at any time."

Arsenal will look towards their no.10 to keep producing the quality that, so far, has steered Arsenal to the top of the Premier League - and you'd argue that if he does so, the Premier League title could return to north London come May.

Thierry Henry
Premier League

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