Mesut Ozil praises Arsenal's 'difference maker' after West Brom thrashing

Mesut Ozil was delighted to see Arsenal rack up a third straight victory, but believes a return to winning ways is no coincidence given Mikel Arteta’s decision to play a genuine No.10.

The German World Cup winner has been frozen out by Mikel Arteta and been unable to help his previously struggling team in the role he has made his own over the course of the previous six years.

A run of seven games without a win had prompted many Arsenal fans to demand Ozil’s return this month, but Arteta’s side have put together a series of impressive results which have coincided with the introduction of Emile Smith Rowe.

The 20-year-old shot to prominence during a pre-season tour of Asia two-and-half years ago but he has been forced to bide his time for an opportunity in the Arsenal first team.

Injuries have curtailed the youngsters progress, while he has also spent time out on loan at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield to aid his development but he looks certain to remain a key part of Arteta’s plans following another impressive display in Saturday’s 4-0 win over West Brom.

Commenting on Twitter, Ozil said: ‘Nice game my boys! Great spirit – 3 wins in a row. Team looks good with a No10 like Emile Smith Rowe – the difference maker.’

Asked after the game, meanwhile, if the decision to play Smith Rowe and fellow academy graduate Bukayo Saka on a regular basis had been key to his side’s improvement, Arteta said: When I talk about the energy, when you are in a moment where you are winning and playing with confidence, you can see that you can transmit that.

‘The body language is better and you have that enthusiasm that wins help massively for you to build.

‘When we were going through a difficult moment, I said that the most important thing is to maintain the team spirit and the belief that we would turn things around and belief in what we are trying to do.

‘This week, obviously, is paying the price for the way that we have been going together through that period.’

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