Mesut Ozil is aware of comparisons to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp but insists he is determined to secure legend status in his own right at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners star has vowed to continue making his own mark in English football, expressing a desire on his part to become an iconic creative influence
As a creative influence who can make the game look easy at times, the German playmaker falls into the same talent bracket as the iconic Dutchman.
Bergkamp starred in north London for nine years between 1995 and 2006, scoring 120 goals and winning three Premier League titles.
Ozil, who has seen as much criticism during his time in England as he has praise, has some way to go before he can claim to enjoy a similar standing at Arsenal, but the 29-year-old is out to prove his worth.
He told the club’s official website: “The fans have backed me ever since I arrived five years ago and because of that, I’ve been able to play in my preferred style.
“I always want to control the game, give assists and help my team. It was like that with me from the start. In my position you have many possibilities playing forward. You can demand the balls, make telling passes or score yourself.
“I’ve been told so many times over the years that this is how Bergkamp played. Of course that makes me proud and it is an honour to be compared with him. Bergkamp is a living legend at Arsenal and he was an amazing football player.
“But I do not want to compare myself with anybody. I have my own style and I’ve had it since I was a kid. I am proud of these comparisons, but I am Mesut Ozil and I’m not finished yet.”
Ozil enjoyed a welcome return to form in his most recent outing – his 200th for Arsenal – with a positive response offered to Unai Emery’s demands for him to give more during a trip to Newcastle.
An effort which proved to be the match winner at St James’ Park was the World Cup winner’s first Premier League strike of 2018, but he claims to take more joy from setting up others than he does hitting the net himself.
He added: “Most kids only enjoy scoring goals but ever since I was young, I’ve always loved to give assists.
“Why? It’s simple really. Through giving an assist, your friend can score and you help your team. Whenever I receive the ball, I always think offensively so I can pick out chances to score a goal or assist someone. That’s why it’s normal for me to always get the ball and play it forwards.
“In my opinion, a creative player should always have fun on the pitch and should trust their playing style in order to help the team. I’ve been playing this way my whole life, which is why I still enjoy giving my team-mates assists to this day.”