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Mesut Ozil told to ‘step up and deliver’ by former Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker, who also reveals brutal drinking initiation

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Per Mertesacker has urged Mesut Ozil to ‘step up and deliver’ again for Arsenal, saying he has gifts no other player at the club has.

In an exclusive interview with talkSPORT, the former Gunner centre-back and now Arsenal academy manager spoke of his old friend’s struggles and revealed how the midfielder was made violently ill during his brutal initiation at former club Werder Bremen.

He also devoted an entire section to Ozil, whom he shared time with at Arsenal, the Germany national team and Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.

“We’re in a situation where we need players to step up.

In that section he reveals the drinking initiation all Bremen players were forced to complete when they graduated to the first-team or first arrived at the club – and Ozil’s ended in him making a bit of a mess in front of his new team-mates.

“When I did it, I had almost 5 litres of water next to me because you need to neutralise that stuff [which is the most Per Mertesacker thing ever], otherwise you end up being Mesut – not reaching the toilet because you have to get something out of your system.

“There’s a lot of doubt with him, but he can deliver and that’s what’s stuck with me through all our years at Bremen, the Germany national team and Arsenal, that he has the capability of doing so.
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