Cape Town - Nigeria international striker, Alex Iwobi says Mesut Ozil has been extremely important to his professional football development.
The German international last week offered lavish words of praise on his Arsenal teammate who has now taken the time to reveal the special interest Ozil has taken in his progress.
Iwobi revealed via the club’s official website that Ozil has been one of the main reasons for his recent impressive displays with consistent words of encouragement.
“Mesut just tells me that I'm young and need to express myself on the pitch.
“Obviously I need to listen to other people's advice as well, but he tells me to always play with a smile on my face and enjoy the game,” Iwobi was quoted as saying on www.arsenal.com.
Ozil recently compared the 20-year-old Super Eagles man to Austin Okocha, encouraging him to "play with a smile," just as his uncle did.
Iwobi admitted he was blown away by the comments, saying: "When I saw [his comments] I was like, 'wow is he serious?' because he never really says that much to me.
“He just gives me advice and help, but it's such a confidence boost for such a great player to say that about me.
“I'm the same kid I used to be. The same kid who used to work hard. There's a bit of luck as well.
“For me to get that chance and take it like I did, I'm just fortunate and happy to have taken them.
“I guess it's luck at the end of the day.
Iwobi is likely to be involved when the Gunners host Ludogorets in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The midfielder has yet to score for Arsenal this season but has provided three assists in eight appearances for the Gunners this term.