Mesut Ozil is a “maestro” of the Dennis Bergkamp mould, says Robert Pires, but the Arsenal playmaker needs “more confidence” in order to perform at that level on a regular basis.
World Cup winner Ozil has faced plenty of questions of his contribution throughout a six-year spell in north London.
His technical ability has never been in doubt, but criticism has been aimed at his inconsistency and supposed lack of stomach for a fight.
Pires acknowledges that Ozil is capable of offering much more, as Dutch forward Bergkamp once did before him, but insists his commitment to the cause is as strong as ever.
The former Gunners winger told Sky Sports: “You can compare Mesut Ozil to Dennis Bergkamp, because they play just behind the striker.
“Mesut Ozil is a great player, but maybe he needs more confidence. For me he is a maestro; he’s a magician with the ball.
“For him it’s not easy because he needs to improve every game. I know, a little bit, Mesut, and especially when they lose the game, he is very disappointed.”
Ozil may need to take on even more responsibility at Arsenal next season.
Aaron Ramsey is set to depart Emirates Stadium at the end of his contract, with Pires begrudgingly supporting the Wales international’s decision to take on a new challenge at Serie A champions Juventus.
The Frenchman added: “I am disappointed. I know Aaron, he’s a great player. He’s doing very well, he’s scored a lot of goals. He is very important in the squad, especially in the dressing room.
“But unfortunately this is football, so we need to respect Aaron’s decision. For him it’s a new challenge, a new life.
“I’m very happy for Aaron, he deserves this great opportunity.
“Serie A is a good league and Juve is one of the best teams in Europe. He will play with one of the greatest players, Cristiano Ronaldo. I’m disappointed but this is life.”
Ramsey has already taken in his last game for Arsenal, with an untimely injury having brought his 2018-19 campaign to a close.
Ozil and Co are, however, still chasing down a top-four finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory, with Unai Emery’s side back in action at home to Brighton on Sunday.