Ozil key to Arsenal title challenge - Mertesacker


Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker believes Mesut Ozil will be the key in the club's run for the Premier League title this season. 

Ozil was instrumental in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Manchester City on Monday, setting up both Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud for the side's goals as they moved to within two points of surprise leaders Leicester City. 

The Germany international has amassed a total of 15 assists in the Premier League this season - more than double than the next best of Gerard Deulofeu and Riyad Mahrez (7). 

Ozil is on track to break former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry's Premier League record of 20 assists in a single season.

And Mertesacker believes Arsenal's hopes of winning the league for the first time since 2003-04 depends a lot on Ozil.

"He is vital for us, especially when we play deep [as we did against City]," Mertesacker said.

"We want to get him the ball in the final third, that is what we are trying to do every single time.

"He is the main threat and he gives a good pass at the right moment and he can see the difference so we try and find him.

"That is the solution for us, to expose the back four and then he is really dangerous when he gets into that pocket and plays the ball behind.

"We could have got more goals against City with a bit more will in the final third because obviously they open up."