The Gunners boss does not believe the Germany international can be expected to make a difference on his own, though says the 25-year-old’s best years are ahead of him
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes there is too much expectation placed on playmaker Mesut Ozil by the club’s fans.
The 25-year-old made an instant impact following his club-record move from Real Madrid in September, and has helped the gunners to the top of the Premier League table.
However, some unspectacular performances of late, coupled with a goal drought that extends back to December 8, have seen the Germany international’s €50 million price tage called into question.
But Wenger feels fans can be guilty of demanding too much from Ozil, particularly in terms of goalscoring.
“Sometimes people expect him to make the difference alone,” the Frenchman told the club’s official website.
“Sometimes when it doesn’t work you expect him to take the ball and put it in the net. He is more a passer than a finisher.
“[Goalscoring] is one of the things he can add to his game for sure. It doesn’t need to be criticised; it needs to be encouraged.
“He is 25, he can only get better. The best years are coming for him now.”
Arsenal confirmed on Monday that Wolfsburg assistant manager Andries Jonker will become the head of their academy in July, replacing the departing Liam Brady – news that has been welcomed by Wenger.
“I am very pleased that Andries is joining us,” he added.
“He has a big reputation in the game and was a key part of the team that developed the structures that are now producing such strong young players in Netherlands.
“I look forward to working with him. I would also like to thank Liam for his work, which has been outstanding over many years.”