Having now scored six goals already for Arsene Wenger’s side this term, are we now seeing a different side to Mesut Ozil?
The German’s hat-trick for Arsenal versus Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League was not only his first for the Gunners, but his first in professional football.
The 6-0 win at The Emirates Stadium, also – incredibly so – saw Ozil record his first domestic assist this term.
When Mesut Ozil made a sensational deadline day move to Arsenal from Real Madrid in September 2013, The Premier League had captured the man who at the time – and arguably still is – the greatest dead-ball specialist on the planet.
Bought for a club-record fee of £42.5m, the North Londoners had acquired the man who had amassed a record 35 assists for club and country during the 2012/13 campaign.
The thought was enough to send the pulses of many an Arsenal fan to spike.
Last season, the German’s wizardry reached 19 assists for The Gunners, just one shy of Thierry Henry’s league record of 20 during the 2002/03 season.
Curiously, Ozil has now totaled 35 assists for Arsenal in three seasons – the same as in his final year in Madrid. A nonetheless still lusty tally.
This season, however, the 28-year-old seems to be in a rather different mood; a goal-scoring one.
His triple last Wednesday night epitomized his form since returning for the European Championships this summer. The German seems sharper than ever. Or is that merely an illusion?
Ozil, although primarily a set-piece maestro, was recruited from Werder Bremen in 2010 for his all-round game, scoring 13 goals in 71 appearances for Die Werderaner.
His goal-scoring exploits for Los Blancos were in large part overlooked in the face of his creator-in-chief status.
Notwithstanding, Ozil still managed to notch 19 in his three years in the
Spanish capital. That, however, is now close to being eclipsed in North London with 18 goals, having played 17 games less.
His numbers tell only half the tale. The Gelsenkirchen-born midfielder is now exuding maturity in front of goal. His finish for Arsenal’s third against Chelsea portrayed the ice in his veins.
Should Arsenal have another player capable of reaching double figures in regard to goal, that will merely sweeten the pot for his manager?
The only issue that might create is that Mesut Ozil was – let’s not forget – recruited to bring that killer ball that was previously lacking.
As Middlesbrough demonstrated, The Gunners can still be shut out. In those games, a wizard of the German’s potential is required.
With the German sensation now at half his tally of last season after just nine games, the question remains. Does Arsenal need his goals or his assists in the long-run?