Arsene Wenger says that 27-year-old Mesut Ozil is entering his peak years as a footballer.
The German has six Premier League assists this season and scored the Gunners’ second goal in their Champions League win over Bayern Munich this week.
Wenger believes the peak years for a footballer are between 27 and 32, putting Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud in that category amongst his key players.
“He is 27 now,” Wenger said when asked about the form of Ozil ahead of Saturday’s clash with Everton.
“It is the golden age of a football player, 27-31, 32, the age when you know your job, you realise suddenly that it is not only important to play, it is important to win as well. You go into that period thinking: ‘Finally’.
“Under 25 you think you can last forever. Once you get to 27 you realise it’s time to capitalise on what you have learned and efficiency takes a little bit over the playing mood.
“He is focused on his job. Talent wise, I think deeply he is a very collective player. He is a very respectful guy. If you tell him to do that he will do it for you.
“I think his talent is exceptional. Sometimes I think he sacrifices himself for the team. Sometimes he releases the ball when you want him to, sometimes he will do it when you don’t want him to.
“He plays in the link between the low midfield and the striker. He is the vital part in that. In that final part of the pitch he has the most assists. There he is vital.”