Mesut Ozil is set goal challenge by Arsene Wenger every year

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It is usually about this time of year that Arsenal's bid for that first Premier League title since 2004 goes catastrophically off the rails.

A series of untimely injuries to key players, followed up by poor results against teams they should be beating usually causes the Gunners to fall away.

And with the clubs at the top of the table almost impossible to separate so far this season, there will be even more pressure on Arsene Wenger's men to keep with the frontrunners.

Some fans thought the November curse had already hit when news of Alexis Sanchez's suspected calf tear started circulating, however, the most recent reports are murky regarding the actual extent and location of the knock.

Losing Sanchez would be tough, but if it does come to fruition Wenger will want to wrap up one of his other integral stars in cotton wool.

Like the Chile international, Mesut Ozil has started the campaign looking his very best and his form is one of the main reasons why optimism at the Emirates is currently so high.

The attacking midfielder has formed somewhat of a reputation for himself as being an 'assist king' over the last few years but his manager hasn't been completely satisfied with his game.

Ozil has revealed that Wenger has challenged him to be more prolific in front of goal and set a specific target for him to beat.

"The manager wants me to score lots of goals," he told Arsenal's official website.

"He sees in training that when I have a chance, the ball mostly goes in. When we train on finishing, he sees that I score lots of goals. He knows that I'm ice-cold in front of goal and he wants to see that in matches.

"I'm doing that now – I go forward and, while I haven't changed my game, I'm focusing on scoring goals myself too.

"Every year he comes to me and says, 'You need to score more than 10 goals this season – that needs to be your aim because you have the quality.' I'm trying to take that on."

The German star - who has actually been rested for the latest set of international fixtures - is well on his way to achieving Wenger's target and could potentially achieve it before Christmas.

Seven goals already this term has propelled him to just one fewer than he managed throughout the whole of last season.

Three of those strikes came in one game against Ludogorets in October - his first hat trick at senior level - whilst anyone who saw his majestic finish against the same opponents last week wouldn't bet against him getting close to 20 goals before the season is over.

Alexis Sanchez
Premier League
Mesut Özil
Arsene Wenger

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