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Arsenal legend questions Ozil's goals & assists record since signing bumper new contract

12:45 PM EST 1/21/20
Mesut Ozil Arsenal 2019-20
Ray Parlour has urged the German midfielder to up his work-rate and improve his statistics in the final third of the pitch

Mesut Ozil has improved since Mikel Arteta's arrival at Arsenal, but his contribution in terms of goals and assists is still well below the required standard, according to Ray Parlour.

Ozil became Arsenal's highest-paid player when he signed a new £350,000-per-week contract two years ago, which saw him commit his future to the club until 2021.

The 31-year-old was central to former boss Arsene Wenger's plans, but his performance levels started to decline significantly following the Frenchman's departure.  

Ozil has only managed to score five goals and lay on four assists in the Premier League since signing a renewal in January 2018, having spent the best part of a year on the fringes of the action under Unai Emery.

The mercurial playmaker was restored to the starting XI when Arteta was drafted in at Emirates Stadium, but questions over his attitude and commitment to the club's cause remain.

Ozil is ranked 103rd in the Premier League's goal contributions rankings for the period between 2018 and 2020, with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah topping the list having recorded 46 goals and 17 assists.

The Arsenal midfielder is way behind club colleague Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's overall total of 56, and level on 9 with Manchester United's Daniel James - who has only played in the top flight for half a season.

Parlour thinks Ozil has made progress under Arteta, but wants to see him bring his numbers up in order to be "really effective" for the Gunners once again.

“He’s getting better,” the ex-Arsenal star told talkSPORT. “I’ve definitely seen improvement under Arteta.

“His work-rate has got better, he’s trying to get on the ball a little bit more… but the figures don’t stack up.

“He’s got support from the fans, but his stats aren’t great. If you’re a player of that calibre, you’ve got to up your stats.

“Look at Kevin De Bruyne in the same position – he’s a fantastic player and those are the sort of stats you’ve got to get up to if you’re going to be really effective for your team.

“At the moment, Ozil can definitely improve them.”

Ozil will be back in contention for a place in Arsenal's line up when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Arteta's side need a win to reignite their hopes of a top-four finish, having fallen ten points behind the Blues in the race for the final Champions League spot after 23 fixtures.

Arsenal will then look ahead to an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bournemouth on Saturday, before taking in a trip to Burnley seven days later.