Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson says Mesut Ozil is a "Rolls Royce player" and claims the Gunners' star receives a lot of stick because he is one of the best players in the Premier League.

The World Cup winner with Germany has been subjected to criticism from a section of fans and pundits for his performance against the top teams. His contract situation also does not help him as his current deal at the Emirates will run down after the end of the season.

Ozil was the star player for Arsenal against Tottenham Hotspur as the hosts sealed a 2-0 win in the north London derby at the Emirates. The former Real Madrid star picked up the man of the match for his display against Mauricio Pochettino's side.

Merson, who won two leagues and the FA Cup with Arsenal, stressed Ozil's quality makes him the first name on Germany's team sheet for next summer's World Cup in Russia.

"Against Spurs he was unbelievable. Different class. He's a Rolls Royce player, and that's why we all get the hump. You know that on his day he is one of the best players in the Premier League. That's why he gets so much stick," Merson told Sky Sports.

"A player from other mid-table teams won't get stick for underperforming because they're not world class players. But Ozil can be a world class player.

"This is a World Cup winner, a player that strolls into Germany's team, who are one of the favourites to win the World Cup.

"I'd go as far as saying he's one of the first names on the team sheet for Germany. How can he not turn up and be eight out of 10 in the Premier League every week?"

Meanwhile, Ozil's future at Arsenal is far from being resolved. He and Alexis Sanchez's contract will expire in 2018. The duo have not signed a new deal and Arsene Wenger admitted the two players have options from other top clubs.

According to the Spanish newspaper AS, the 29-year-old is attracting interest from Arsenal's league rivals Manchester United and Barcelona. Ozil has played under the Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho when the two were at Real Madrid.

Barcelona are also looking to land the Arsenal playmaker. Ozil is open to the idea of making a switch to Camp Nou if the Catalan club can meet his €370,000-a-week (£329,000, $438,000) wage demands. The same report also confirms Wenger fears Ozil will join Mourinho's side on a free transfer next summer.

Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil is reportedly wanted by Manchester United and Barcelona Getty