Date: 28th February 2017 at 8:00pm
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defender Jerome Boateng has defended playmaker Mesut Ozil against the criticism he has been receiving in recent weeks.

Both fans and pundits have been highly critical of the German but Boateng feels his team mate is being unfairly maligned. Although he says Ozil is going through a difficult period, in his eyes he remains a world class player. He said to beIN Sport (translated by the Mirror).

“He is world class. Every player has a period where it’s not everything goes well. He knows this by himself and he will make everything to play good for his team. He’s one of the best in the world.”

“I love to play with him. He’s always trying, he creates chances, he’s the best passing player I ever saw. When he was at Real Madrid he made the most assists – even at Arsenal. So I think they are very lucky to have him.”

Ozil has nine goals and eight assists from 29 matches so far this campaign but his form in recent games has been noticeably below his top standards. His last goal came against City in a 3-1 win back in mid December, while he has managed just two assists in his last eight matches.

The lack of contributions in the final third means his all round game is far more open to criticism, especially when he offers a lot less than other players in defensive situations. With contract talks still ongoing with the 28-year-old, his future at has also been placed into doubt with Munich, Barcelona and Real Madrid all having been linked with the German in recent months.