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Mesut Ozil has said Emile Smith Rowe“made the difference” for Arsenal in recent weeks.
He has added effervescence and a creative spark from the number 10 role, to draw comparisons with Ozil.
Arsenal lacked a creativityduring their dire run through November and December, and many eyes were focused on Ozil who was completely out of the picture - having not featured for the club since March.
With pressure mounting on manager Mikel Arteta, the Spaniard said there was a chance Ozil could come back into the fold.
The former Germany international could not have featured until January as he was not named in the Premier League squad at the start of the season.
Arteta could have changed his squad in January, but in the meantime he turned to Smith Rowe and the 20-year-old grasped his chance in style.
Ozil has been an interested spectator from his sofa, and has been impressed with Smith Rowe’s performances.
And he reinforced the point that the youngster’s efforts prove that there is still room for a No.10 in the modern game.
“He made the difference in the last couple of games as a No.10,” Ozil said during a question and answer session on Twitter. “Really happy for him… and that he showed that playing with a No.10 still can make sense in today’s football.”
Ozil’s Arsenal career is drawing to a clos and had Smith Rowe not emerged and the Gunners’ poor form continued, the 32-year-old may have been drafted back into the fold.