Arsenal are faced with a fresh defensive crisis after Ainsley Maitland-Niles picked up an injury in their 5-1 defeat by Liverpool.
Arsenal’s utility man played as a winger against Liverpool but he is now a doubt for tomorrow’s clash with struggling Fulham.
With Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin and Konstantinos Mavropanos also out along with long-term absentee Rob Holding, Unai Emery’s options are strictly restricted.
The Gunners have been linked with a loan move for Gary Cahill but are said not to be keen on snapping up a defender when the transfer window opens tomorrow.
Saturday’s Anfield battering means the Gunners are now 16 points behind the league leaders.
Emery said: “Defensively we need to be stronger.
“It’s a very bad result but we need to say that they are better than us now at this moment. You can see the difference in the table, you can see the difference on the pitch.
“At the Emirates, we showed we can compete against them because we drew. But it was not enough at Anfield and the performance in several ways was not enough.
“But Liverpool three, four or five years ago are in the same situation as us.
“We need to be self-critical about ourselves both inside and outside and to do our process.”
Arsenal face Fulham on New Year’s Day at the Emirates.