Nigel Winterburn has warned Arsenal against rushing into any transfer deals in the winter market, referencing the club's last-minute decision to bring in David Luiz on deadline day.
The Gunners' 2019-20 campaign got off to an awful start under Unai Emery, who was dismissed in November following a run of seven matches without a win.
Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg was also unable to turn the team's fortunes around, with Mikel Arteta eventually drafted in as Emery's successor after three successful years serving as Pep Guardiola's number two at Manchester City.
Arteta has made an immediate impact at Emirates Stadium, with promising signs of improvement shown in a 2-0 home win over Manchester United and a 1-0 victory against Leeds in a third-round FA Cup tie.
Luiz has faced plenty of criticism for his performances since joining the Gunners from Chelsea for £8 million ($10m) on August 8 but appears to be relishing playing under his new Spanish boss.
Arsenal remain short on depth at the back though, with Calum Chambers set for an extended spell on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament injury and Kieran Tierney expected to be out for another two months with a dislocated shoulder.
Goal has learned that the Gunners may explore the possibility of one or two loan deals in the January window, with the club having looked at both Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng and Juventus defender Merih Demiral as potential options.
Winterburn would like to see Arteta bring in reinforcements this month, but he has warned the club against signing "another short-term fix" in the same mould as Luiz.
"We’ve been talking about Arsenal addressing a problem position at centre-half for three or four seasons now, but I guess it’s down to the manager to decide where he thinks it’s most vital to improve the squad," the ex-Arsenal defender told Gambling.com.
"What money has he got to spend? Can he get the right players in January? It can be very, very difficult in such a short window. If I’m honest, I don’t see Arsenal doing a lot of business this month, but it’ll be interesting to see what Arteta does.
"They’ve been linked with a lot of players over the course of the last year and centre-half is still a priority. My feeling is that Arsenal shouldn’t bother with another short-term fix, they’ve got to use their money more wisely.
"I think it was obvious that David Luiz was never Arsenal’s first-choice transfer target last summer. The amount of money they were reportedly ready to spend on a new defender, only to settle for Luiz at the last minute, suggests he was a Plan B or C."
Winterburn did, however, admit that Luiz has stepped his game up a notch since Arteta's arrival, adding discipline to his game when out of possession to help snuff out opposition attacks.
"Since Arteta’s come in, Luiz looks a lot better defensively," he added. "We know he’s got a lot of ability on the ball, but now he’s showing quality when he’s on the back foot too.
"But I think Arsenal need to concentrate on getting that back four tighter together, as well as the protection in front of them. At the moment, I think Arteta is going to have to work with what he’s got."