Arsene Wenger admits Mesut Ozil will need to become real Arsenal leader
The Arsenal manager challenges Mesut Ozil to take on more responsibility at the north London side
Arsene Wenger has warned Mesut Ozil that there is an onus on the German midfielder to become a real leader at Arsenal.
The 29-year-old attacking midfielder signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal last week to end speculation surrounding his future at the north London club.
Ozil’s commitment followed the addition of Manchester United flop Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the January transfer window.
The World Cup winner has scored 36 goals and has made 61 assists in 182 games in all competitions during his four and a half seasons at The Emirates.
However, Ozil hasn’t been able to inspire Arsenal to their first Premier League title since 2003-04 and the Gunners are facing the real possibility of missing out on a top-four finish for the second successive season.
Speaking about the Germany international’s lucrative Arsenal contract, Wenger laid down a challenge to his No11 to take on more responsibility and inspire Arsenal to a fourth-place finish in the remaining months of the season.
“He has committed his future to the club in a period where we are in a trick position on that front, in qualifying for the Champions League,” Wenger told Arsenal’s website.
“You expect that he becomes the leader and takes the responsibility to lead the team to success.”
Arsenal are in sixth place in the Premier League table and eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in pursuit of a Champions League qualification spot.
The Gunners lost 3-1 to Swansea City on Tuesday night despite Ozil teeing up Nacho Monreal to make the breakthrough at the Liberty Stadium.