Paul Merson warns Arsene Wenger: This Arsenal star doesn’t turn up in big games

The Arsenal legend doesn't want Mesut Ozil to start Saturday's north London derby

Arsenal star Mesut Ozil Photo: Puma

Paul Merson has told Arsene Wenger to resist the urge to start Mesut Ozil in Saturday’s north London derby.

Arsenal will entertain their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur at The Emirates in search of three points following a 3-1 loss to leaders Manchester City last time out.

Ozil was criticised for his poor performance in their defeat at The Etihad as Wenger opted to start the World Cup winner despite uncertainty about his Arsenal future.

Indeed, the German midfielder has been linked with a potential move to their bitter rivals Manchester United after entering the final 12 months of his Arsenal deal.

Ozil’s performances in Arsenal’s biggest games have been regularly criticised despite scoring in his first two north London derbies following a move from Real Madrid in 2013.

However, former Arsenal midfieler Merson doesn’t believe Ozil warrants a place in Wenger’s starting line-up for the visit of Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m a big fan of Mesut Ozil but he doesn’t turn up in the big games,” Merson told Sky Sports. “You can’t just do it when you want to do it.”

Arsenal signed Ozil in a £42.5m deal from La Liga giants in the 2013 summer transfer window.

The Gunners finished in fifth place in the Premier League table last term to miss out on a Champions League spot.

Tottenham finished ahead of Arsenal for the first time in the Premier League era.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC
Jurgen Klopp
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel
Danny Murphy predicts where Man United and Chelsea FC will finish
Jose Mourinho
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Crystal Palace v Man United
Michael Owen
Michael Owen states his prediction for Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC
Jurgen Klopp
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Liverpool FC v Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel
Danny Murphy predicts where Man United and Chelsea FC will finish
Jose Mourinho
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Crystal Palace v Man United
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature