Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger will be handed a £20m bounty to spend in JanuaryGetty

Arsene Wenger will be handed a transfer budget of £20m in January to plug the holes in his team, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Gunners are in dire need of a defender to settle their back four and Wenger is likely to splash the cash in the upcoming transfer window to keep Arsenal's hopes for a place in the top four alive. Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, Manchester United starlet Chris Smalling and Celtic centre-back Virgil van Dijk are all on the list, which is likely to expand as the transfer window approaches.

The Frenchman made a mistake when he refused to bring in a third defender to replace Thomas Vermaelen after the Belgian was sold for a £15m fee to Barcelona in the summer. Bacary Sagna, who slotted in at centre-back when needed was sold to Manchester City, which exacerbated the problem at the back.

The Gunners also need a defensive midfielder to protect the back four, with Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta not living up to expectations. Both players have entered their thirties and do not have the legs to break down attacks from midfield, which has severely affected Arsenal in their bid to seal up the defence.

However, Wenger is unlikely to be handed any more money in the transfer window, with more funds expected to be available in the summer. Their transfer business in the summer was excellent, having brought in players of the calibre of Alexis Sanchez and Calum Chambers. However, that was countered by Wenger's inability to shore up their defence.

Sanchez has been carrying the Arsenal team alone in recent games, scoring six times in their last four games in all competitions. An injury to the Chilean will cast dark clouds over their season, especially with Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla and a host of other players struggling for form.