Marco Reus has named Mesut Ozil as the best footballer he's had the chance to play alongside in his career, with the Borussia Dortmund star having lined up with the Arsenal man in the German national team.
Reus has played alongside the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos and Germany's all-time top scorer Miroslav Klose throughout his career, but it was the Gunners' midfield orchestrator that stood out above the rest for the Dortmund captain.
Sadly for Reus, Ozil has retired from international football following a breakdown in relationship with the German Football Association (DFB), alleging discrimination from the body and the German media, meaning a future collaboration seems unlikely.
Following that, the 30-year-old found himself on the fringes of Arsenal's first team after the appointment of Unai Emery, with the playmaker seemingly struggling to adapt to the rigours of the Spanish boss's training and tactical approach.
A recent 2-0 win over Newcastle saw Ozil-old pick up the award for man of the match, however, and Reus hopes that his favourite player will be able to kick on and become a more permanent feature in Emery's starting XI.
"Mesut Ozil," Reus told Copa 90 when quizzed on the best player he has played with. "The way he creates goals... he's a player with a really good eye for his team-mates. He has so many assists in the Premier League and with the national team.
"He's just an intelligent player and you can see that right away with a first glance. I always enjoyed playing with him and that's why it's a pity he's taken a step back. I hope he'll get back to form and return to playing regularly for Arsenal."
A dip in his own club's form saw a healthy lead at the top of the Bundesliga table drop down to just two between Dortmund and Bayern Munich, with a clash between the two German powerhouses taking place on Saturday.
A run of three straight wins since that hiccup has restored some momentum ahead of the weekend's big match and the Dortmund captain has been doing his best to ease the pressure on his team-mates as they target their first Bundesliga title since 2011-12.
"We had a good run," Reus said. "Our form lately hasn't been so good but it's important that we remain calm. I chat with the team to reassure them that we'll keep going and that they have to stay positive.
"We need to be patient."