Arsene Wenger: Arsenal’s £42.5m Mesut Ozil could be feeling price tag
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger concedes Mesut Özil could be feeling burdened due to his club-record price tag
Arsene Wenger has conceded that Mesut Ozil could be feeling burdened by the pressure of being Arsenal’s club-record signing.
The 25-year-old playmaker has endured a quiet couple of months after initially impressing following a £42.5m move from Real Madrid on deadline day last summer.
He has gone a little bit through a difficult time. It can happen to anybody
Ozil’s poor form culminated in a penalty miss before the Gunners went on to lose 2-0 to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash last week.
The Germany international was rested for last weekend’s 4-1 victory over Sunderland but is fit to return against Stoke City on Saturday, and Wenger backed Ozil to get through a “difficult time”.
“It is difficult for him mentally to be confronted with that pressure every three days and in every single competition,” Wenger said.
“But he will adapt.
“Maybe he feels that (record signing tag) a bit in a different way than I do. I just want him to enjoy it and play well.
“He has gone a little bit through a difficult time. It can happen to anybody. So have others in the past, and so I don’t worry about Ozil.”
Wenger added that he doesn’t put extra pressure on Ozil to mastermind Arsenal’s victories, stressing that he wants the German to enjoy his football at The Emirates.
“He shouldn’t do that,” Wenger added. “It’s down to the performance of the team. I never tell him, ‘You have to win us the game’.
“He’s all right. He loves to play. You give him a ball, he’s happy. That’s the most important thing. And he has the quality, so I don’t worry.
“We have the experience to do that: you have always to be behind your players. The best way is to show him support.”