Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla’s chances of finding the net for Arsenal against Sunderland at 9/4 look significantly strengthened with assist-king Mesut Ozil alongside him.
The German’s arrival is sure to put pressure on British pair Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, however, with the north Londoners’ midfield looking fit to burst.
Former Real Madrid star Ozil’s impressive record of 47 La Liga lay-ons in just three seasons at the Bernabeu has been well-trailed, but with the club’s record signing practically guaranteed a place when fit there will be a few disappointed faces in the Arsenal dressing room this term.
Arsenal won this fixture 1-0 last season and Ramsey took up a deep-lying role at the Stadium of Light, with Wilshere and Mikel Arteta providing the bullets to Cazorla and Theo Walcott out wide and Olivier Giroud up front.
Arsene Wenger’s task of finding a place in the middle of the park for Ozil has been made easier by Arteta’s continued absence through injury.
However, with the former Everton and Rangers man due back for the Capital One Cup tie against West Brom later this month Wenger will soon find himself juggling six players in three midfield positions when Tomas Rosicky, who has started all three Premier League games so far this season, is added to the equation.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski, who have been mostly utilised on the left wing, are also currently injured so Cazorla looks likely to start out wide against Paolo Di Canio’s strugglers, as he did against Tottenham in the recent 1-0 home win.
Ozil would therefore play slightly ahead of Wilshere with Ramsey in the holding role, but the young English and Welsh prospects will be under pressure for their places when everyone is available.
Stevenage-native Wilshere has yet to prove he can steer clear of injury during his fledgling career and a sloppy performance for England against Ukraine was put down to a lack of fitness by national team coach Roy Hodgson.
Another spell out could see the current great hope for English football struggle to regain his place, whereas Ramsey can be sure that Arteta is eyeing his spot in the team with the attacking midfield slots seemingly covered.
The former Nottingham Forest youth had a breakthrough season last term and appeared in 36 Premier League games, but the Spanish midfielder is adept at picking out long passes from deep and may feel the position in front of defence is his most realistic hope of cementing a first-team place this season.