Mesut Ozil has hailed Emile Smith Rowe for making the difference at Arsenal despite the youngster stealing his No.10 role.
While Ozil's career in north London is heading towards an unsavoury end, it seems Smith Rowe's is only just getting started.
The 20-year-old has been instrumental in Arsenal's last four fixtures after being thrown back into the side following their dismal run of results.
Smith Rowe helped spark the Gunners into life to secure three consecutive Premier League wins, before scoring in the FA Cup third round victory over Newcastle on Saturday.
"He made the difference in the last couple of games as a No 10 – really happy for him," Ozil said during a Twitter Q&A.
Smith Rowe has been occupying the playmaker role in behind the striker, which was previously Ozil's domain.
But whilst he had no qualms about praising his effective replacement, Ozil also appeared to use the opportunity to perhaps aim a thinly-veiled dig at boss Mikel Arteta.
"He [Smith Rowe] showed that playing with a No 10 still can make sense in today’s football," Ozil added.
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New signings Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey have hit the ground running following their big money summer arrivals, and the new-look Gunners are going all out for a top four spot and Europa League glory this term.
The Mesut Ozil situation continues to hang in the background and there's plenty going on in North London to keep abreast of.
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Arteta has been operating various systems at Arsenal since his appointment, though had largely stuck to 4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 – none of which have room for a creative player of Ozil's ilk.
The Gunners boss soon looked to change things when put under severe pressure following a run of just one league win in 10 fixtures however, but it was Smith Rowe who got the nod, given Ozil is still not registered as part of Arsenal's 25-man squad.
Ozil's future is still uncertain, but he is soon due to make a decision on his next move.
Where should Ozil's next move take him? Have your say below.
His contract runs out in the summer, with Fenerbahce heavily linked with signing the 32-year-old on a free transfer.
Asked about his fondness for the Turkish club, Ozil replied: "I grew up as a @Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany – every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce.
"Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in the country."
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