Former Turkey midfielder Ridvan Dilmen has waxed lyrical about the work-rate former Arsenal man Mesut Ozil produced on his first league start for Fenerbahce on Saturday.
After being awarded his first start for the club during last week’s Turkiye Kupasi 2-1 defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir FK, Ozil was rewarded his first Super Lig start for the club since signing from Arsenal last month.
Having found himself frozen out in north London, Ozil made the decision to leave the Emirates Stadium ahead of his contract expiring and join Fenerbahce on a permanent deal, despite having also held talks with American outfit DC United.
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Ozil had not played a single minute for the Gunners this season in any competition, meaning Saturday’s start against Fatih Karagumruk, which saw Fenerbahce win 2-1, was his first league start in almost 12 months, with his last coming in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over West Ham United last March.
Although it was the attacking-midfielder’s first start in league football for almost 12 months, the former Real Madrid man didn’t fail to disappoint, with his performance coming in for no shortage of praise.
Although he didn’t score or claim an assist, he did manage 81 minutes before being replaced by Mert Haken Yandas, which is an impressive figure for a player who had not played for so long.
Whilst Ozil has been drafted in by Fenerbahce to add a sense of creativity and attacking threat to their play, it was his work-rate and effort that earned plaudits, particularly from Dilmen, who now covers Turkish football as a pundit.
“I did not expect Mesut Ozil to do so much. It is not easy,” said Dilmen, as quoted by the Mail. “You play football for the first time after 10 months. A team was not built around Mesut, Mesut came to this team.
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