The Gunners had been tipped to make a January swoop for the out-of-favour Barcelona forward but a deal failed to materialise, despite Wenger later admitting that he is a keen admirer of the Spaniard.
“I like the player [Villa], but we have some more immediate targets that are more important to us,” Wenger, whose side have not lifted a major trophy since 2005, said last month.
But Lauren, who made 242 appearances for the north Londoners during a six-year spell under Wenger, believes that the 31-year-old Villa is exactly what the Gunners need.
“Arsenal need a striker like Villa. They need that sort of player,” Lauren told La Xarxa.
“Villa can get you 15, 20, 25 goals in a season, and that’s what Arsenal need at the moment.”
Villa has scored 12 goals in 24 appearances for Barcelona this season and Lauren says that the striker would slot in well at Emirates Stadium.
He added: “He’d do brilliantly at Arsenal. He’d combine well with [Nacho] Monreal, [Santi] Cazorla and [Mikel] Arteta.
“He’d fit in with the Spaniards in the dressing room, and the adaptation period would be very quick.”
Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday as they look to close the gap on their north London rivals to one point.