Ex-Arsenal manager Bruce Rioch thinks that there is no way you can compare Mesut Özil to the legend Dennis Bergkamp, as he does not score enough goals.
The Gunners broke their record signing fee when they landed Özil from Real Madrid for £42.4 million on deadline day, with the signing compared to that of Dennis Bergkamp who Rioch signed from Inter Milan back in 1995 for what was then a record for the club.
While Rioch can see the comparisons between the two players he has pointed out that they are very different telling Sky Sports News Radio:
However, while Rioch understands the comparison for those reasons, he has pointed out the two are very different players.
He told Sky Sports News Radio: “He (Özil) is a very talented player and I think he suits the style that Arsenal have at this time. He’s what I would call a silky player, but he’s more of a creator than a goalscorer.
“To compare him to Dennis Bergkamp would be wrong because Dennis was a goalscorer as well as a creator, but it’s a huge signing.
“He’s a one in six goalscorer but he is a creator. He’s very silky, very clever on the ball and has a high ratio of assists, that’s what he brings to the club.
“But you’ve got to have goalscorers and that’s the key for Arsenal. For what he (Özil) creates, can they finish?”
The former manager does think that the 24-year-old German international will give Arsenal an edge however.
“He’s a good age,” Rioch added. “He’s coming up to the peak of his career, and I think he’ll settle in quite quickly because he’s got two German colleagues at the club in (Per) Mertesacker and (Lukas) Podolski.
“He’s going to an outstanding club, and they’re a good football team. They’ve had a lot of criticism with not going into the transfer market but they’ve started the season well.
“They’ve got a lot of creative players in the side and they’ve got a lot of pace in key areas. If you’ve got a passer who can see the runners then you’ve got a chance, and Özil is a good player.
“He’s exciting in possession, and whenever I’ve watched him on the TV for Real Madrid I’ve enjoyed watching him. He’s one of those players that you’d want to have in your team rather than play against.”
Regardless of the new signing Rioch still thinks that they are short of a known goalscorer to challenge for the Premier League title.
Despite the signing, Rioch still believes his former club are short of a proven goalscorer to challenge for the Premier League title.
“They’re definitely a top-four team,” Rioch said. “If they had Thierry Henry or Ian Wright in their team I’d say they’d be a top-two team, but it’s the goals.
“You’ve got to be scoring around 80 goals a season on a regular basis and I just wonder whether they’ve got enough strikers at the club to score those goals.
“You look at the midfield, there’s some good players there, and they’ve added a very, very good player. He will make the team better. It’s whether they’ve got the ammunition and the goals to go into the top two.”