Arsene Wenger is convinced Mesut Ozil will improve his goalscoring record in the second half of the season.
Ozil has played in 17 of Arsenal’s 18 Premier League matches this season, scoring on five occasions.
The playmaker’s overall form has impressed Wenger, who thinks a hot streak in front of goal is just around the corner as the Gunners prepare to host Crystal Palace on Sunday.
“I still think there is a gap between his potential finishing and the way he does,” Wenger said at his pre-match media conference.
“In training he finishes better than the games and I’m convinced his percentage of finishing will go up in the coming months. He is a huge player.”
Ozil was criticised for his performance in Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester City earlier this month, but Wenger has been staunch in his defence of the Germany international.
The manager added: “I have always defended him. He has improved his commitment and works harder than people think he does.
“He works hard but he had one or two games where he was frustrated. The one that comes to my mind is the Manchester City game where he was criticised but when you look at his whole contribution he has done fantastic.”
Arsenal beat West Brom 1-0 on Boxing Day, a first win in three league matches that left them fourth in the table.