Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has defended Mesut Ozil in the wake of criticisms leveled against the midfielder by ex-Manchester United ace Paul Scholes in one of the British tabloids.
Scholes claimed Ozil took “the easy option” by leaving Real Madrid to join the north London outfit in summer 2013.
“He (Ozil) needs a leader around him to get him going,” Scholes wrote in his column for The Independent. “At Real Madrid he had a chance of winning league titles. At Arsenal that is not on the cards.”
The Germany international has had to come in for the stick on several other occasions for failing to maintain consistency for Arsenal following his club-record £42m transfer.
Quizzed on whether Ozil has a point to prove to people in his news conference ahead of Monday’s FA Cup quarter-final match at Old Trafford, the French boss, 65, explained that the 26-year-old’s natural playing style often times portrays a wrong impression as regards his work-rate.
“We are all in a job when in every single game we have to prove a point and I believe that he has the quality,” Wenger said on Friday morning.
“Paul Scholes would have loved to have played with a player like Mesut Ozil. He puts a lot of effort in to help the team and he works much harder than his style shows.
“You can be cheated a little bit by his style of play, because he’s fluent easy and he doesn’t look like he puts the effort in- but he does.
“I knew he had a good physical potential but I didn’t know how good he was physically.”
Ozil has scored three goals and made five assists in 13 Premier League games so far this season. He would be looking to add to his one FA Cup goal if selected against Scholes’s former side on Monday night.