Mesut Ozil's stats in Arsenal 2-0 Man United show he's a new man under Mikel Arteta

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Rio Ferdinand spotted the change in Mesut Ozil following Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United on Wednesday.

Ozil starred in the Gunners' victory and had a beaming smile on his face at full-time.

And Ferdinand thinks it’s evidence that the German playmaker is enjoying football again.

“Look at that from Ozil, I think that is the first time I’ve seen him smile in 18 months, and that’s because he must be enjoying training,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.  

Ozil has made a promising start under Mikel Arteta and it’s a relief to every Arsenal fan who saw him become an outcast under Unai Emery.

The 31-year-old was frozen out at the Emirates Stadium under the Spaniard and his future at the club looked in doubt.

But Ozil now looks back to his best and it’s extremely encouraging.

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The former Germany international has often been regarded as lazy but his stats in the Man United win suggest Arteta has turned him into a new man.

Ozil regained possession 10 times, more than any other player on the pitch.

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And he also lead Arteta’s side in distance covered, with 11.53km.

That’s the most he has run in more than two years.

With Ozil running the strings, Arsenal’s hopes of a successful season may not be over.

A number of clubs currently stand in their way of fourth place but the Gunners remain a threat in the Europa League, with a meeting against Olympiacos to come in the round of 32.

No team is going to want to face Ozil, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, especially when they’re on top form.

The quartet started the same game for the first time on Wednesday - it only took five months and three managers - and looked dangerous, with Pepe getting on the scoresheet.

New year, new Arsenal?

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