Martin Keown says Arsenal needed to sign a world-class defensive midfielder last summer.
The Gunners have fallen away in the Premier League title race in recent weeks after a three-game winless run in the English top flight.
Arsenal have been without Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Jack Wilshere for large parts of the season, leaving Arsene Wenger short on midfield options.
Former Charlton Atletic star Coquelin established himself as a first-team regular in the second half of the 2014/15 season after an outstanding performance in a 2-1 win at Manchester City.
However, former Arsenal defender Keown believes Wenger has shown too much loyalty to his current Arsenal players, adding that the Frenchman needed to sign a world-class midfielder last summer.
“He treats every player like his own son. It is what you’d want for your son,” Keown told BT Sport.
“When Coquelin was brilliant last season, he should have gone higher and signed a world-class midfielder that would put fear into the rest of Europe. He is very loyal – too loyal!”
Arsenal lost their first FA Cup game in three years last weekend after Watford were surprise 2-1 winners in the quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium.
Wenger’s week got even worse mid-week after Barcelona’s 3-1 victory at Camp Nou secured a 5-1 aggregate win for the holders in their Champions League last-16 clash.
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