Arsène Wenger has defended Mesut Ozil’s form and says the playmaker is “working very hard” to adapt to life in the Premier League.

The Germany international was part of the side that was well-beaten by Liverpool on Saturday, and has come in for criticism in some quarters.

But Wenger insists the 25-year-old is still finding his feet in England and will bounce back against Manchester United on Wednesday night.

He works very hard to adapt to the physical level of the Premier League and for me he is an exceptional player

Arsène Wenger

“He has done well, he is adapting as well to the Premier League - we have seen that before,” the manager said.

“I wouldn’t like to put too much pressure on him because he has been a top-class player until now. He didn’t have the best of games on Saturday but that can happen. He works very hard to adapt to the physical level of the Premier League and for me he is an exceptional player.

“[Criticism] happens but we have to deal with that and he has to deal with that. He has been a professional footballer for long enough to know when your performance on the day is not good enough, you get criticised or questioned. It is normal.

“He was like everybody else on Saturday - he was not on a good day and was affected certainly by the fact it was a bit of a shock to be 2-0 down so early. He works very hard in training to improve and there's nobody really to ostracise from that game, we are all conscious that we were not good enough.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 11 Feb 2014