The ex-Gunners defender believes Unai Emery will have to be given funds before the January deadline as he finds himself short of options at the back

Arsenal will be forced to spend before the transfer deadline passes, says Martin Keown, with a mounting injury list requiring them to shelve plans to only seek out loan deals.

Unai Emery has previously revealed that he will be given no funds in the January window.

With that in mind, the Gunners have been linked with moves to bring in the likes of Denis Suarez and James Rodriguez on short-term deals.

They did, however, see Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny join a mounting injury list during a 3-1 FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Manchester United and now find themselves down to the bare bones at the back.

Keown told the Daily Mail on the Gunners’ need to tweak their recruitment plans: “Emery admitted earlier this month that he would only be able to bring in players on loan.

“This FA Cup exit may force Arsenal into the transfer market for a defender.”

The former Arsenal defender added on the defensive issues at Emirates Stadium, which contributed to a home reversal against United: “Every time Unai Emery has tried to construct a back four this season, he has lost another defender.

“After a promising start to the campaign, Rob Holding was ruled out for the season with a cruciate ligament injury. Last week, the same happened to right back Hector Bellerin.

“Just 10 minutes before Manchester United opened the scoring, Emery had to shuffle his pack when Sokratis hobbled off — breaking a partnership with Koscielny that had showed promise in recent weeks.

“For United’s first goal, both central defenders came charging out to close down Romelu Lukaku – allowing Alexis Sanchez time and space to coolly finish. Less than two minutes later, Sead Kolasinac left too much space for Lukaku to break down the right and set up Jesse Lingard.

“If Kolasinac gets back into position more quickly, he stops Lukaku making the run.

“The goals – and the subsequent injury to Koscielny – forced Arsenal to go on the offensive, but they had a mountain to climb.”