Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes club-record signing Mesut Ozil still has room for improvement as he adapts to life at the Emirates Stadium. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
The Germany international had a hand in all three of the Gunners' goals against Stoke City on Sunday, directly assisting both Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna with pin-point set piece deliveries.
Despite the 24-year-old's match-winning display, which was greeted by a standing ovation when he was subbed off late on, Wenger is convinced Ozil can have an even greater impact in matches in the future.
“When you look at his numbers, the assists are not a coincidence it is just a reality of his game,” said Wenger after the match. “I believe that once he is completely integrated we will see even more of him, but he has shown today that he is a great player.
“You could see today he has good pace as well and at the moment he focuses on his passes but he can create individually as well.”
The French boss was pleased with the manner of his side's performance, as it dug in against a physical Stoke side and scored from three set pieces – normally considered a forte of the visiting team.
“The first half was fluent, [we played] well going forward, and in the second half we looked jaded physically and lost our technical quality,” the Frenchman continued. “But we have shown another aspect that we can dig deep and fight when we are a bit under pressure.
“When you play against Stoke you don't expect to score three goals from set pieces and that is the biggest surprise for me today. But it shows as well how important the delivery is.”
Theo Walcott was forced to withdraw from the starting lineup after suffering an injury in the pre-match warm up, and Wenger admitted the club was struggling to identify the problem or establish a return date.
“He had an abdominal muscle problem, I don't really know what it is. Nobody can tell me,” added Wenger. “Is it a question of days? I hope. He had a test before the game, but I decided to play him. He'd had a little problem already before the Marseille game and it became a little bit worse.
“I hope it's nothing. It's a bit mysterious because we don't really know what it is.”
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- Mesut Ozil
- Bacary Sagna
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