By Tony Hughes
Mesut Ozil must win a Premier League title to reach the level of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, according to Jamie Carragher.
The German playmaker has been one of the outstanding players of the Premier League season, supplying 16 assists and three goals to lead the Gunners’ title charge.
In the wake of Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday, Wenger provided a fresh perspective on Ozil by comparing him to all-time great Bergkamp, who is immortalised with a statue outside Emirates Stadium.
But Carragher has warned that silverware will dictate how far the comparisons go between the pair despite Ozil’s increased productivity in his third season at Arsenal.
“As we head into 2016, he is the main reason Arsenal are leading the way and to have 16 assists already is astonishing,” Carragher wrote in the Mail. “Nobody in Premier League history has got near that total at this stage.
“His numbers are remarkable but, at this moment, they mean nothing. He is on target to become a record breaker but, if there is no silverware, what will it mean?
“As it stands, though, it is nonsense to use statistics to try to compare Ozil and Bergkamp. The reason is this: Bergkamp is immortalised in bronze outside the Emirates Stadium because, aside from all the medals he won, he helped bring fantasy football to north London. His style had substance.
“If Ozil continues to sparkle when it matters in the next 19 fixtures and inspires Wenger’s squad to their first Premier League title since 2004, it would make him a legend in the eyes of Arsenal fans. Until then the Bergkamp comparisons must wait.”
Ozil will look to continue his fine form on Saturday afternoon when table-topping Arsenal face Newcastle at Emirates Stadium.