Arsene Wenger claims Mesut Ozil has become “too obsessed with making the perfect pass.”

Ozil, Arsenal’s record £42million signing, has gone badly off the boil in recent matches and his dip in form was highlighted in the humiliating 5-1 defeat at Liverpool last Saturday - a loss manager Wenger has dismissed as “an accident”.

Germany midfielder Ozil needs a big performance in a big game to silence the critics and all eyes will be on him during the Gunners' massive clash against champions Manchester United at the Emirates on Wednesday.

But Wenger has launched a passionate defence of his superstar, even if the statistics - and no player’s career has ever been so judged on stats - tell a different story.

Ozil, 25, contributed six assists - and scored two goals - in his first 10 Premier League games for Arsenal but has provided just two assists in his last 10 top-flight appearances.

Wenger says the 25-year-old signed from Real Madrid in the summer is feeling the pressure but claims he should be more selfish to improve his goal-scoring return.

Ozil has been ordered into the gym to toughen him up, and Wenger insists he does work hard, despite looking laid back on the pitch.

“You want the guy who plays behind the striker to score some goals and sometimes he is too obsessed with making the perfect pass when he could take a shot at goal," said Wenger.

“For me, he is an exceptional player. He feels the pressure of course, because he knows a lot is expected when you are a big transfer like that.

“There is a big expectation level, but he should not worry about that, just play in the team and enjoy it, give his best. That’s the best way to deal with it.

“You must say he doesn’t come from a small club. He comes from Real Madrid, where the pressure is always huge as well. So he’s used to it.