Wenger backs Ozil to lift Wilshere
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes club-record £43million signing Mesut Ozil can help England midfielder Jack Wilshere thrive in a deeper role at the heart of the Gunners side.
German playmaker Ozil could make his Barclays Premier League debut at Sunderland on Saturday, having made a deadline day move from Real Madrid which was greeted by disbelief from his former team-mates at the Bernabeu.
Wenger is in no doubt the arrival of such a high-calibre player can only help bring on the talent of 21-year-old Wilshere, who has been troubled by injury in recent seasons and is the subject of debate over burnout following a somewhat laboured display in the World Cup qualifier against Ukraine earlier this week.
"In midfield, Jack Wilshere is more comfortable in deeper positions and Ozil more in a higher position, that is why I don't think they conflict," said Wenger, who is set to be without Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky because of a thigh injury at the Stadium of Light.
"I didn't always think that, but looking at Jack over the years now, he likes to come deep to take the ball and make a difference, and then give and go again.
"Ozil, though, is more behind the striker, higher up on the field."
Wenger had long tracked the third-generation Turkish-German playmaker, and tried to bring him to Arsenal when he moved from Werder Bremen in August 2010.
A personal phone call from the French coach - who is fluent in German - on the eve of Arsenal's win over Tottenham ahead of the international break proved pivotal to seal the move.
Ozil, 24, was part of Germany's successful Under-21 side which beat England 4-0 in the final of the 2009 European Championships, and is in no doubt he has signed for both a club and manager capable of taking his game to another level.
Wenger said: "Ozil has the personality to express his game, which is for me the most important. He is a creative player, and that is what we want, to express his talent and develop it.
"If you look well at his record, his assists are fantastic, his goalscoring record there is room for improvement.
"In the next few years, you expect him to combine those two together."