Mesut Ozil has four goals in four Champions League games. Yes, you read that right. Mesut Ozil. Has four goals. In four games. The man whose name the Oxford Dictionary are rumored to be adding to the dictionary as a synonym for “help” or “assist” (we can neither confirm nor deny that I just made this up), is not only just laying on goals for the Gooners, he's scoring them too.
First, let's get the obvious out of the way. Ozil's four in four have come in two fixtures against Ludogorets, courtesy of a hat trick in the home tie, and a magical game-winner in the away match to clinch their spot in the knockout stages. With respect, Ludogorets aren't exactly the toughest competition on the world's stage, but that's not the point. The point is Ozil is becoming the complete player, and he's doing it just when Arsenal need him to.
Ozil's critics have long pointed to his lack of goals and tendency to drift out of important matches as the biggest weaknesses in his game. And in fairness, it was an area of concern, even factoring in the astronomical number of chances he creates for his teammates. Ozil's game has always been about assists, but this year he's stepped his game up and added a new dimension to his play.
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Last season, Ozil scored eight goals in 45 matches for Arsenal. This campaign he's already got seven in just 13 games.
Not all of those were against Ludogorets either. He netted the clincher against Watford in August, scored against Chelsea in the 3-0 rout in September, and grabbed the eventual winner in a crucial home win against Swansea in October.
His latest winner against Ludogorets was an absurdly cool, calm and collected piece of brazen skill that looked more like a highlight from the F2 Freestylers than a real, actual strike to secure the win in a Champions League fixture.
Right now, his goals (and don't forget, the man is still the assist king) have Arsenal level on points atop the Premier League, and through to the Champions League knockout stages. He's putting in confident, assured and even dominating performances week in and week out, and, alongside co-talisman Alexis Sanchez, he has Arsenal looking like real contenders.
A Mesut Ozil that not only can create goals but score them regularly too, is something we've never truly seen. His highest ever season tally is 11 for Werder Bremen, and that came back in the 2010/11 season. Now, 28 years old, he's in the prime of his career, and he's showing it.
It remains to be seen if Ozil's goalscoring exploits will last through the whole season. But for now, he's looking more and more like a complete attacking midfielder. And that makes for a complete (and terrifying) Arsenal.