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Ozil 'can be the best player in England'

ESPN staff
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Wenger: History can help us

Philipp Lahm insists Mesut Ozil will be seen as the best player in the Premier League if he is given time to adapt.

The Arsenal playmaker has been challenged by his manager, Arsene Wenger, to silence his critics in the Champions League against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, when his team need to overturn a 2-0 first set deficit in the last 16.

But Bayern captain Lahm insists the quality of Ozil, a Germany team-mate, might take time to shine through as he adjusts to life in the Premier League after his £42.5 million move from Real Madrid last summer.

"Mesut is in a new league - but next season he can be the best player in England. He has the attitude and desire to do that," Lahm said.

Ozil was criticised for his penalty miss in the first leg at the Emirates and Wenger gave him time off afterwards, admitting the player had been badly affected by the episode. Ozil was also jeered by a section of Germany fans during their friendly victory against Chile last week.

Wenger reinstated his club's record signing to the first team last weekend in the FA Cup quarter-final victory over Everton and he scored the opening goal in a 4-1 win.

"Anybody who has played with Mesut knows what an exceptional player he is," Lahm said of the playmaker who had produced more assists than any other player in Europe's top five leagues when he joined Arsenal.

"He has been a success wherever he has played, and he is the dream for any attacking players, because he finds space and passes that very few players in the world are able to see.

"He is one of the most gifted and intelligent players in Europe, and I think his assist record says everything you need to know about him."

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