By Alberto Pinero
Arsenal youngster Jon Toral believes any team in the world would want Mesut Ozil and insists he is one of the best players on the planet.
Ozil endured a tough night in the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with the 25-year-old missing a first-half penalty and generally struggling to assert himself in a game that the Gunners would go on to lose 2-0.
Speaking prior to the first-leg defeat at the Emirates Stadium, Toral, who joined Arsenal from Barcelona in 2011, hailed the former Real Madrid playmaker and believes that his presence in the team improves those around him.
He told Goal: "Ozil is one of the best players in the world. Everybody wants him, that's the truth. He is a big pull with the fans. But the most important thing is that he helps the team so much, he has given them a lift.
"When people see Arsenal they now respect them a lot more, because of the players that they have, and because Ozil makes those around him better."
Toral is yet to make a first-team appearance for Arsene Wenger's side but, having impressed for the club's Under-18 side, he is confident his chance will come after overcoming numerous injuries since signing for the club three years ago.
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"Since I was young I have always dreamt of playing in the Premier League, my mother is English, I have family there, and I've followed the league since I was young, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity and test myself at Arsenal.
"All in all, my time in London and leaving Barcelona has been very positive. I am learning a lot, it's an experience. I'm living alone, and I have also grown as a person.
"The injuries make you mentally strong. I'm learning every day. I see the chance to move up into the first team. Above all, because I believe in myself. I always have done since I arrived at Arsenal. I’ve not lost confidence. The injuries maybe set you back, but they never finish anybody. If you are mentally and physically strong, injuries can’t stop you. I believe in myself, and I see possibilities. I know that the manager Arsene Wenger also has confidence in me."
Toral says his compatriots have been a particularly big help in his early years at Arsenal, and that Arsene Wenger is not arrogant, even if he thinks it might seem that way to outsiders.
"I see the other Spanish players at the training ground, and I get on well with them," he added. "Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Mikel Arteta have also helped me a lot.
"You arrive for the first time and you find yourself in the same gym as Cazorla, as Arteta, they are working there with you, and your first thought is 'Wow, I’m here with those guys!'
"They are normal people, very good people, who help you and support you. Mikel is very professional, he’s a great. Cazorla and Monreal are very easy-going. Henry and Pires were here with the team over Christmas, and it’s very exciting to see them there.
"Wilshere and the others have come through the youth teams, and there is a close relationship between the first team and the reserves. There’s a very good atmosphere. The relationship with Wenger is also very good. He’s not arrogant at all, although it can seem like that from the outside. He knows when you have to work, and you learn a lot from him."