Mesut Ozil and assists have gone hand-in-hand this season.
An incredible 17 in the Premier League so far and the German looks on course to break the league's assist record of 20 set by Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry.
However whenever Mesut Ozil doesn’t produce a world-class performance for Arsenal, social media is full of people questioning where the German was during the 90 minutes.
That happened after Tuesday night, where Ozil failed to demonstrate his incredible talents during his side's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Emirates.
The mocking was probably a bit harsh on the German in truth. He could have had a couple of assists had Arsenal’s finishing been slightly better and he rarely gave the ball away when he had possession.
But that didn’t stop people asking questions like: “Why didn’t Ozil play tonight?”
It’s a theory that Ozil is a bit of a luxury player who doesn’t turn up for big matches.
But the 27-year-old has gone a long way to dispelling those myths in the Premier League this campaign with impressive performances in huge games against Manchester United, Leicester City and Manchester City, assisting at least one goal in all three of those matches whilst scoring against United.
All of his assists have been the key reason why Arsenal have the chance to win their first title since 2004 with nobody able to accuse him of going missing in league matches.
However, Ozil haters will relish the surprising stat that the playmaker hasn’t recorded an assist in nine matches in the Champions League.
Considering he has notched up 17 assists in 24 Premier League matches this season that is an incredible statistic - and one that does his reputation of bottling it when it comes to big games no favours.
The stage doesn't get much bigger than the Champions League and it’s proof for those people that say Ozil doesn’t turn up in the biggest matches, that he hasn’t registered an assist in the competition for so long.
Of course, Ozil may point to the fact his teammates haven’t scored the chances he’s created for them in the Champions League this season but it's become expected that Ozil produces assists for his teammates.
But it’s not just fans calling out Ozil for often going missing in big matches.
Before the Barcelona clash, Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera suggested that Ozil isn’t capable of maintaining his high performance levels.
"Mesut isn’t so consistent, but he makes the difference when he’s on his day," he said.
The German has created an incredible 105 chances this season which is one of the highest in Europe but he’ll need to be at his very best to turn around Arsenal’s two goal deficit.
The Gunners need to win by at least two goals at the Nou Camp in three weeks time to stand any chance of progression and Ozil will be keen to prevent it becoming ten matches in the competition without an assist.
Arsenal fans: Does Mesut Ozil go missing in the big matches? Let us know in the comments box below!
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