Arsenal great Robert Pires says Mesut Özil is now a true "maestro." The German playmaker's improvement in front of goal this season means he can be justifiably compared to Dennis Bergkamp, says Pires.
Özil has scored seven goals in his 14 appearances for the north London club this term, just one short of his goal tally in 45 games last season and Pires thinks the attacking midfielder, who was rested for Germany's international games, has stepped up a level.
"Mesut Ozil has very good qualities. He can normally score a minimum of 12 goals during the Premier League," the Frenchman was quoted as saying on arsenal.com.
"In my time the maestro was Dennis Bergkamp and now it is Mesut Ozil. I love them both because they play very good football but they play for the team."
Bergkamp is ranked second on the club website's list of all-time greats after the skilful Dutch international striker bagged 120 goals in 423 appearances for the Gunners. Özil's increased output is predominantly psychological, says Pires.
"Something has clicked," the Frenchman explained. "What's happened in the head is like a click because he's scored a lot of goals.
"This is a difference between last season with Mesut Ozil and now because he's thinking just for himself. Sometimes when you are in front of the target it is important to score."
Özil twice scored 10 goals in a season while at Spanish giants Real Madrid but has never topped that mark. He'll be hoping to take another step towards double figures when fourth-placed Arsenal visit Machester United on Saturday.