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Crystal Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye believes Arsenal and Germany playmaker Mesut Özil is the best player in the Premier League.
When asked by France Football who he thought the strongest player in the league was, in terms of footballing ability, the French international said: “The strongest player in England, I think? Mesut Ozil. He is really, very strong,” reports Tribalfootball.
“You get the impression that he does not care, that he is nonchalant, but at one point he will put a pass that nobody has seen. He always knows everything before everyone else. That’s what is fabulous about him.”
Cabaye’s comments will ring true with a lot of Arsenal fans who watch the player every weekend. Ozil has an ability to see almost everything around him and it’s a rare occasion that you spot a run from the stands that the German hasn’t also seen.
Plenty of pundits have berated Özil for not fitting the stereotype of a ‘proper Premier League player’, knocking people off the ball and scoring goals by virtue of desire rather than intelligence.
But this doesn’t mean the World Cup winner isn’t just as important and effective in England. He has subtle qualities, his passes allow people to attack the ball without breaking stride, and his ball retention ensures Arsenal rarely lose possession cheaply. Those attributes go under the radar unless they come in the form of an assist.
Özil creates chances for fun as a result of these talents. In his first game back against Leicester City, he created six in a 4-3 win, all of which were missed by Arsenal’s attackers. Nevertheless, he created more chances than anybody else on the pitch and more than the entire Leicester team put together. For Cabaye, this kind of contribution clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed.