Ferdinand: This Arsenal 28-year old is not the finished article
By Matt Farr
Ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Arsenal star Mesut Ozil can still improve if he is more aggressive.
The German international starred for the Gunners once more during their 4-1 victory over Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday, and has contributed eight goals and five assists from 18 games in all competitions this season.
However, Ferdinand claims that the 28-year-old is not yet the finished article, suggesting that he needs to show a bit more physicality, especially in big games.
He told the Metro: “I’m a huge fan, but I just want to see him run beyond and hurt himself a bit more, physically. And be more aggressive in what he does.
“In big games, people ask do they pass him by, but I think teams set up and he plays on the peripheral a bit in big games.”
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Some areas of the Arsenal fan base will disagree with Ferdinand’s comments, with Ozil have already provided the goods in big games on several occasions this season.
Ozil scored during the 3-0 Premier League victory over title rivals Chelsea in September, and also made an assist as Arsenal drew 1-1 with Tottenham in the north London derby in November.
Meanwhile, Ludogorets may not have been considered ‘big opposition’ for the Gunners, but failure to make a statement against them in their two Champions League group-stage games could have prevented Arsene Wenger’s side from finishing top of their group.
World cup winner Ozil contributed four goals and two assists across the two games. He continues to form a blistering attacking partnership with Arsenal’s lead goalscorer Alexis Sanchez.
Next up for Arsene Wenger’s side is a visit from Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday.
In other Arsenal news, ex-Gunner Ray Parlour has praised this Arsenal ace on Twitter.