Thierry Henry challenges Arsenal's 'amazing' Mesut Ozil to score more goals

Thierry Henry warned his former side Arsenal as they face a difficult run of fixtures in the second half of the season

Thierry Henry has praised Arsenal's Mesut Ozil for his performances this season but has challenged him to score more goals.

Ozil produced his 16th assist of the season when he crossed for Gabriel to open the scoring in the first half in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Bournemouth on Monday before adding a superb second after the interval - his third goal of the season.

Ozil is now just four assists away from equalling the Premier League record of 20, set by Henry, in the 2002/03 season.

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It was a performance that had manager Arsene Wenger comparing his playmaker to Henry's former teammate Dennis Bergkamp.

Although Henry raved about Ozil's contribution this season, he feels that the German needs to add more goals to his game to match-up to Bergkamp, whom Henry calls the best player he's ever played with. 

Henry said: "The guy is just amazing. Finally we're starting to see what type of player he can be and what type of player he actually is. He didn't perform in his first seasons but he is definitely doing it at the moment.

"It's his vision, he always puts the ball where you need it. He sees everything, and when you play with a player like that, anything can happen at any time. People were having a go at him, and rightly so because he wasn't performing.

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Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Thierry Henry
Image: Thierry Henry (right) agrees with Arsene Wenger's comparison between Mesut Ozil (left) and Dennis Bergkamp

"The only thing maybe you can say is that in some games he is going to have to score, and if he gets into the habit of doing it, it will come naturally.

"Dennis is the best player I've ever played with but Ozil reminds me of Dennis too. He always does what the game wants him to do. He loves to share the ball, and that's the best thing you can have on the field. But sometimes you are going against the game if you do not shoot when you need to shoot."

 Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal on 13th December, 2015 in Birmingham, England.
Image: Mesut Ozil has 16 assists in the Premier League this season

Ahead of Tuesday's clash between Leicester City and Manchester City, Arsenal are top of the Premier League by one point.

The Gunners have already lost four games this season against West Ham, West Brom, Southampton and Chelsea but are unbeaten against teams in the top-six, including registering wins over Manchester City and Leicester.

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Henry believes those inconsistencies and a tough fixture list mean Arsenal still face a challenge to win their first Premier League title since 2004.

"It's weird because in the last seven or eight years, Arsenal were getting hammered for not hitting big teams but at the moment that is what they're doing. They're beating big teams," Henry added.

"They lost games only against lesser sides, if I can say that. The way they lost against Southampton was just unacceptable. They didn't turn up and it's not the first time that has happened.

"That's the lack of consistency you have in the league at the moment. That is going to make everybody think about whether they can sustain that and actually go all the way.

Mesut Ozil scored one and set up another for Arsenal against Bournemouth
Image: Mesut Ozil scored one and set up another for Arsenal against Bournemouth

"What bothers me and what I am worried about is the return fixtures Arsenal face. They have to go to Everton, Liverpool, Man United, Man City and at Tottenham.

"We have found out it is difficult to win at Stoke and West Ham. They have to play Palace at home, which is where you don't want to play them because they are better side away.

"If you had taken that cushion against Southampton the other day it would have been great because Leicester and Manchester City play tonight."

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