Per Mertesacker says Mesut Ozil's quality means it is essential for Arsenal to get the very best out of him.
The World Cup winner has been nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award at the end of a stellar season in which he has scored six goals and claimed 18 assists.
Mertesacker said at the start of the campaign that Ozil would shine this term, and stressed his compatriot’s increasing importance to the team.
“I felt that when he was fit, he would be at his best - that was my prediction,” Mertesacker told Arsenal Player. “I hoped that he would stay fit so we would get the best out of him, that was just my simple idea. You could feel he would help us win games.
“He is [progressing], especially in the final third. We try to give him the ball to make the final decision or make the final ball because we know that is where he is at his best.
“When he fulfils his potential, he has 20-plus assists in him and has even got the ability of scoring 10-plus goals. When he can be difference between 30-plus points, it is vital for the team.
“I think he realises he can now grow here, even in a foreign country. He gets the respect now and it is going to be even tougher for him. Everyone tries to block his left foot because he is so dangerous with it.
“Now he needs to find different spots and positions where he can find solutions but I’m convinced he can take this challenge to be at his best and the player we need him to be.”
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