Former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has praised the club for signing Germany international Mesut Ozil—a player he says is a "spectacular signing" for the club.
Fabregas was speaking to the Guardian's Sid Lowe, in an interview where he revealed that he would like to return to Arsenal in some capacity in the future.
He was, though, clear in his opinion that the club are currently heading in the right direction and highlighted Ozil as a player with the potential to change the club's fortunes:
Ozil is the man who makes the difference in the final third. He will find so much space in the Premier League and he’s a player who with space kills you. His final pass is brilliant. And he will score more goals in England than he did in Spain. He is a spectacular signing.
Ozil will bring the best out in (Aaron) Ramsey and (Jack) Wilshere. They understand football the same way.
The only player who maybe is a bit different is Theo Walcott but you also need that type of player because it’s true that at the end of pass, pass, pass you need a Pedro — someone who will get behind the opposition. Someone who gives depth and hits space.
Fabregas famously joined the North London side from Barcelona as a teenager, before returning to the Catalans as a major star in 2011.
While the attraction of returning to his local team was too much for Fabregas to resist, it is clear from the interview that he still holds great affection for his former employers.
He is right, also, about their development. While the major tests of the next two months will give a clear indication of whether this current Arsenal side are realistic title challengers, they are clearly a talented outfit brimming with confidence at present.
Part of that confidence comes from the balance that Fabregas discusses. They have a selection of wonderfully deft creative players, but also those who can supply direct attacking impetus in and around the box—with Walcott and Ramsey both good examples of such players.
In the interview, Fabregas was full of praise for Ramsey's recent development:
I watch the way Ramsey is playing now, how he looks so liberated, and I think maybe I blocked his way. Maybe I was an obstacle. Sometimes you need someone to leave for you to step forward and say: "I'm here."
They [Wilshere and Ramsey] have quality on the ball and they have the physical attributes. Ramsey's stamina is spectacular. Wilshere is a bit different to the typical English player: he's more of a short passer. Ramsay is one of those that you look at and think: "He doesn't stand out in any specific quality, but he does everything, everything, well."
The return of Mathieu Flamini has also added solidity to the base of the Gunners midfield which, in turn, should relieve some pressure from their much maligned defence.
Kieran Gibbs, in particular, looks to be already benefiting from Flamini's return to the club in defensive midfield.
It is clear that, as Fabregas suggests, Ozil will be the key man this season. The German is a truly special talent and well deserving of his £42.4 million price tag.
The big benefit of Ozil's move for Fabregas, of course, is that he will no longer be a direct rival in Spain, with the Barcelona man currently preparing to take on Real Madrid in the first Clasico of the season this weekend.