Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta believes that star playmaker Mesut Ozil has been ‘unlucky’ not to record more goals and assists in his time as Gunners boss.
The 31-year-old has often been a divisive figure since arriving in England, but his attacking numbers have dipped drastically since the departure of Arsene Wenger.
He has just two assists and no goals in all competitions this term, but Arteta believes that the German’s play in the final third has been deserving of better statistics than that.
“The demands that we have to put on him are to make the difference every single game,” Arteta said ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League clash with Chelsea.
“To do that he needs the right structure and players around him to help him to do that.
“I think he could have had more assists and probably more goals in the games he has played under me which has been a little bit unlucky but overall I think that his performance has improved a lot.”
The Spaniard also spoke about teenage star Gabriel Martinelli, who will not be representing his native Brazil despite their Under-23s side participating in a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament and is thought to be weighing up a potential switch to Italy.
“[Martinelli representing Italy] would be ideal,” Arteta continued. “It is up to him. He has his feelings and he needs to make his decision of what he wants. It is up to entirely him. But if he can play around the corner it would be even better.
“His mentality makes a big difference. I don’t know how the process when he joined and what he did to settle so quickly.
“But I can imagine he has the right people around him for sure, his family and entourage, and I think as well they really look after him and I think the club were very on top of him and positive about everything about him and his teammates were a big help.”
The young forward has hit the ground running since joining Arsenal from Ituano, averaging just under a goal or assist every 86 minutes across all competitions so far this season.