Mesut Ozil says his three month lay-off between October and January made last season the toughest of his career so far.
The German midfielder suffered knee ligament damage in a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea at a time when he was struggling for form following his country’s World Cup success.
The 26-year-old consequently underwent a gruelling period of rehab, bulking up in the process, before making his return against Stoke in the New Year.
Pinpointing the support shown by Arsenal’s fans on his comeback as the highlight of his season, Ozil told Kicker magazine.
“It was a very long season. I guess it was the hardest in my career. The first time in my life I had to deal with a serious injury. It feel it was a consequence of playing a lot games without a break over years.
“I was happy with the second half of the season. I wanted to show everybody that I’m back. Winning the FA Cup means it was a successful year. I’m proud of that win.
“My best moment [of the season] was the first game back after my injury against Stoke City. The fans cheered a lot when I was brought on. That was a brilliant feeling and helped me a lot.
“From then on I understood: no matter what happened, the club and the fans are always with me.
“But the most important think is the opinion of my coach. I have a lot more self-confidence when he is with me. I always had that feeling with Arsene Wenger.”
Ozil also predicted that the Gunners can mount a serious title tilt next year so long as they continue to stave off injuries.
“We had bad luck with injuries this season, but next season we can win the Premier League and go further in the Champions League.”