The Arsenal attacker was criticised for waning performances last season, but his former boss at Real Madrid believes he is a world-class player when filled with confidence
The 25-year-old was the subject of criticism in the second half of his maiden campaign in England, with injuries and tiredness affecting his performances and contributing to accusations of a lack of work rate.
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“I think it's hard to criticize him, because Ozil is Ozil,” said Mourinho told Yahoo Sport.
“If you were expecting Ozil to be super aggressive and to be running miles and miles from side to side and to show great enthusiasm and aggressiveness, this is not Mesut.
“If you are waiting for somebody where every time he touches the ball, the ball smiles, every time he makes a pass, the ball goes in the right direction, at the right speed, the right intensity - this is Ozil."
He added: “I learned with him, because we were together for quite a long time, that he's a very sensitive boy.
“He needs confidence. He needs trust. He needs to feel that people are with him. When he's on the pitch, every time he touches the ball, the ball goes beautifully.
“And he’ll always finds the right man in the right place. So, sometimes, you don't see him, sometimes he isn't on the [television] screen many, many times. But when he gets going he is a special player."