Arsenal's Mesut Ozil wins kicker award, but not named 'world class'
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 07/01/16 6:53pm
German magazine kicker have labelled Arsenal's Mesut Ozil as the best "German abroad", but have not included him in their "world class" category.
The 27-year-old has been in fantastic form for the Gunners this season, racking up an impressive 16 assists in the Premier League and being named the PFA Fans' Player of the Month for November and December.
The kicker rankings are published twice a year and rank players in the Bundesliga as well as those playing abroad.
They are divided into four categories: world class, international class, players of note and players in focus.
Up against the likes of Toni Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ozil was the only "German abroad" to be included in the international class category.
"Ozil has become a mainstay for Arsenal this season," says the magazine of the midfielder. "Lethargic body language? Going missing in big games? That seems to be in the past. Two of his best games have been against Manchester United (a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win) and Manchester City (two assists in a 2-1 win).
I expect even more from him. Now and then, he hides and you can't see him just like in the 4-0 defeat at Southampton
"That's why he leads the kicker rankings for "Germans abroad" - but only in the category "international class".
"The "world class" rating eludes him because of defeats earlier in the season to West Ham and - most embarrassingly - at Dinamo Zagreb and against Olympiakos, which almost cost Arsenal their place in the next round of the Champions League."
Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus also had his say, adding Ozil is "too inconsistent" to be named world class.
"I expect even more from him," he said. "Now and then, he hides and you can't see him just like in the 4-0 defeat at Southampton."
In a poll on kicker asking whether or not Ozil has earned the tag 'world class', 62% currently say yes.