Arsene Wenger admitted that Arsenal's failure to make a defensive signing during the January transfer window has left them shorthanded at the back.
The Gunners have struggled defensively this season having conceded 34 goals in 25 Premier League games. They are tied with Leicester City for the most goals conceded by the clubs in the top eight.
Arsenal's most recent disappointment was at the hands of Swansea City when they were beaten 3-1 at the Liberty Stadium after having taken the lead. Wenger criticised the defensive performance after the loss and was keen to bring in a defender before the end of the transfer window on 31 January.
The Gunners were heavily linked with a move for West Bromwich Albion's Jonny Evans but failed with a deadline day move for the former Manchester United defender. Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi is the manager's first choice pairing, but the latter has struggled to put in consistent performances, while the backup options Rob Holding and Calum Chambers are relatively inexperienced.
The manager is hoping they can find a defensive solution internally, which could see Greek Under-21 defender Konstantinos Mavropanos, who was signed at the start of the January transfer window, promoted to the first-team after he impressed during his recent appearances in the reserve games.
"Yes, because our defensive numbers are not good enough and that's where we needed some possible strengthening as well. We have to improve our defensive numbers. We want to go in the top four. We have to improve our offensive numbers and defensive numbers," Wenger said talking about Arsenal's failure to bring in defensive reinforcements, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
"I already talked about that and I believe we have to find an internal solution to our defensive problems, and that means everyone putting more effort in. But overall I am happy with the way things went in the transfer market," the French coach added.