Juan Mata has heaped praise on Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, admitting the playmaker has 'great quality' despite his struggles under Unai Emery.
Ozil has started only once in Premier League this season with Unai Emery preferring the likes of Dani Ceballos and Matteo Guendouzi. This has led to reports Emery could offload the midfielder, who £350,000-a-week during the January transfer window. Despite his exile, the former Real Madrid man insisted yesterday that he intends to see out his current Arsenal deal which expires in 2021.
"To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on. I was with Emery for three years in Valencia and I know him very well but I don’t know the day-to-day thing in Arsenal right now," Mata told the Athletic.
"But, of course, Ozil is a creator, a player with a lot of great quality that I like watching. This type of player, this pure No 10, is … how do you say? Extinct? Maybe not extinct, but not as used as before In the past, there was always this pure No 10, behind the striker or the two strikers, depending on the team."
"With different systems now, that position has evolved into a different one. But these are players I like, where natural talent brings the best of them and they can change a game with a pass or something that nobody else sees."