Michael Ballack fancies Mesut Ozil to star for Arsenal in Europe

German legend Michael Ballack believes his compatriot Mesut Ozil could emerge as the leading performer for Arsenal in the Europa League, should he remain motivated while playing the competition. The midfielder was only required during the knockout phase of the tournament last time around but under Unai Emery, he has been involved in the matchday squad from the group stage itself.

Speaking to CNN, Ballack hailed the qualities of Ozil and feels the midfielder could star for the Gunners in Europe, provided he has the desire to perform, he said: “It’s also a player who played on the highest level with Germany but also the Champions League. These kinds of players are playing just Europa League? It’s a question of how much they really want to perform there.”

Meanwhile, Ballack was asked about Ozil’s recent retirement from international duty to which he suggested that the door may reopen for the midfielder in the future, he added: “He’s still a really really good player, but he had his reasons to step back from the national team — the reasons are well known. He has to focus on is football, and maybe in the future things will change.”

Ozil has been a regular starter for the Gunners since the season began and his performances have certainly improved on a game-by-game basis. As such, he has already contributed three goals from five appearances since the late international break but it remains to be seen whether he can replicate a similar performance when his team is up against it.

Arsenal started the season in the worst possible route as they suffered back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Chelsea but they have since won eight matches on the trot including five in the Premier League. The Gunners are currently separated from the top-four positions on only goal difference.