Arsenal may have discovered another perfect replacement for Mesut Ozil.
The playmaker did not feature for the Gunners in a competitive fixture this season after being left out of the Premier League and Europa League squads named by Mikel Arteta back in October.
Prior to leaving the Emirates Stadium, there were suggestions that the former Germany international would be given a recall by Arteta to address a lack of creativity within the first-team squad.
However, the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe post-Christmas has vindicated Arteta’s decision to stick to his guns with the attacking midfielder proving that he can be Arsenal’s long-term heir to Ozil
It took Smith Rowe just three appearances to match Ozil’s total of two assists from last season.
Granted Ozil was in and out of the team under Unai Emery and Freddie Ljungberg prior to Arteta’s appointment, and then completely frozen out during ‘Project Restart’.
But it was just further proof that Arsenal have already found the perfect replacement for the 32-year-old and they haven’t had to spend a single penny.
With that said, another player is showing that he can take over the task of being the Gunners’ chief creator.
As tweeted by Goal, Willian has now recorded seven assists for Arsenal, as it was his cross that was headed home by Gabriel Magalhaes to restore the Gunners’ lead in their Europa League last-16 win first-leg win over Olympiacos on Thursday night.
Interestingly, that is more than what Ozil (6) contributed in his final two seasons in north London.
By signing up for our Arsenal newsletter, you will receive a once-daily email, focused around goings-on at Emirates Stadium.
You won’t miss a thing when it comes to the Gunners – you’ll get all you need to know directly into your inbox.
We’ll also send out special newsletters with any big breaking news too.
And with the January transfer window now open there’s plenty of content to get your teeth into.
How do you sign up?
It’s easy and only takes seconds.
Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article – or any article on the Arsenal section of football.london in fact – labelled ‘Get the biggest daily stories by email’ and click ‘Subscribe’.
And that’s it, you’re all set.
If you decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails, simply follow the unsubscribe link in one of the newsletters – but we don’t think you’ll want to.
For more details, click here.
Willian now has more assists than any of his Arsenal teammates this season and his recent form could be a sign that there is more to come from him.
The Brazilian has finally begun to show signs of the form that convinced Arteta to lure him away from Chelsea on a free transfer last summer.
If he can maintain his recent form, then it could be a successful end to the season for the Gunners as they seek to win the Europa League and finish as high as possible in the Premier League.