Arsene Wenger believes Mesut Ozil will follow in the footsteps of Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp, as long as the Germany international commits his future to the Emirates Stadium.
Ozil has developed into one of Arsenal’s undisputed star players since joining the club from Real Madrid in 2013 and has been in sublime form in recent weeks.
His fine performances have earned him comparisons with Bergkamp, but Wenger feels he will have to stay at Arsenal for a longer period of time in order to reach the Dutchman’s stature – with his current deal due to expire in 2018.
“There are similarities with Bergkamp. I think he can become a legend, if he commits,” Wenger told reporters.
“Bergkamp committed for a long period, played until he was 38. I wish we have ten more years of Ozil. That depends. To become a legend at the club you need to stay for a long time.
“The main transformation we got from him [is that he] makes more runs in behind to score goals. I always encouraged him. I convinced him that he has it in his locker to score goals. He was more focused on giving and looking [before] – today he understands that he can have those qualities but as well be on the end of things.
“The timing of his runs is good. In training I noticed he is a very good finisher. When you have that in your locker, you have to try to get it out. Slowly, he now realises that.
“On top of that he has a fantastic attribute of a guy who is a good finisher, he is calm. You notice all the finishers are killers. That means they keep their nerve in front of goal and he has that.”