Mesut Ozil must stay strong mentally if he is to graduate as one of the greatest Arsenal players in recent history.
That’s according to Gunners manager Arsene Wenger, who believes the Germany star is at the right age to launch the new chapter of his career.
Wenger spent £42.5million on the Real Madrid playmaker on transfer deadline day and he is poised to make his debut at Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday.
And the Frenchman acknowledges the fee is a club record but insists comparisons with Arsenal legends such as Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp are too early.
He said: “You can only judge about the money – it is mathematical that he is our biggest-ever signing. It is difficult to compare quality players because we had some big signings before.
“He’s at a good age. He is 25 in October and he’s already a great player. There’s room now between 25 and 30 for him to become a dominant player and to make a step up from that.
“There are many players who are very, very good to make the step to being great. You have to find the right club at the right moment but having the mental dedication is the major difference now.”
Meanwhile, Wenger’s contract expires at the end of the current campaign but he says he isn’t worried about a new deal just yet.
He added; “We are in no hurry. We are in September and my contract finishes in June. There is a long way to go. There is no need to plan any talks.
“I have said many times I want to do well with this club and in the end I will sit down and think ‘how well have I done with the team I have had?’ That has to be sufficient for me to decide yes or no. One of the main judgments you can have about a manager is how well he does with his team.”