LONDON - Whatever he might have lost over the past few years, Arsene Wenger still knows how to turn a phrase.
He was talking about Mesut Ozil on Saturday evening, after a 1-0 win over Newcastle United, and the feeling he gets when the German takes possession.
"Always your heart rate goes down when he has the ball," Wenger said. Eloquent and a different way of making the point. And in many ways so is Ozil — eloquent in his subtleties and with a different way of getting the job done.
Here he pulled off the kind of goal most others cannot, making the weekly wage he is requesting of £300,000 seem quite reasonable. It is in those moments that it feels staggering Arsenal haven’t done everything possible to keep him.
Of course, the unknown is whether Ozil intends to stay beyond the end of his contract next summer. Wenger is "confident" he does, so the fact Arsenal have offered around £275,000 is mind-boggling.
What would losing Ozil say about Arsenal? Just as his £42.5million signing in 2013 suggested the club were serious about being title contenders again, losing him would tell us the opposite. The same goes for Alexis Sanchez.
In Ozil’s case, the midfielder is offering a sustained reminder of what his club may be losing. On Saturday, he was about more than the goal, because his wider performance was excellent. He created eight chances — only Kevin De Bruyne with nine for Manchester City against Southampton last month has created more in a Premier League game this season — and has scored two and made four more in his past six home games.
When asked if this was the 29-year-old’s best patch since joining, Wenger said: "Yes. Certainly I think he takes responsibilities. He is mature, he guides the team."
On why his goal proved Arsenal need to keep him, Wenger added: "Not only that but I would say more important is the quality and the influence he has on the collective game. You cannot score a goal like that every week but you can play like he plays usually every week. I believe he wants to stay."
Why, then, is he so close to the exit? Why are they so close to losing the heartbeat of their team? Without him the pulse might disappear altogether.