By support

30th Dec, 2016 | 2:18pm

Mark Lawrenson: Arsenal struggling without this player but will not replace him

By Emma Sanders

Mark Lawrenson claims Arsenal are struggling without Santi Cazorla in midfield but it’s unlikely they will look to replace him in January.

Cazorla has been absent for the majority of the season through injury and Arsenal’s form has dipped in recent weeks despite a strong start to the season.

The BBC Sport pundit has put together a report on where he believes each Premier League side need to invest, but Lawrenson admitted Arsenal’s problems are not due to a lack of quality.

The former Liverpool legend believes Cazorla’s absence has been an issue but Arsenal’s priority is to sort out their mentality.

“Their problems are more mental than physical. There are no obvious weaknesses in the team other than in the centre of midfield, where they are missing Santi Cazorla,” Lawrenson wrote on BBC Sport.

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“The Spaniard makes them tick – but they are not going to sign someone to replace him when he will be back from injury in a couple of months.”

Cazorla has not featured for Arsenal since the 0-0 draw against Ludogorets in October and he has been absent for crucial clashes against Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

The Gunners enjoyed a strong start to the season but after a bright start, they have dropped down the table and currently sit in fourth place.

They trail leaders Chelsea by nine points and Tottenham are closing in on a Champions League qualification spot, just one point below them in the table.

Arsenal have won just two of their last four fixtures after suffering defeats against Manchester City and Everton and will be hoping to bounce back on New Year’s Day against Crystal Palace at the Emirates.

In other Arsenal news, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wants a pay rise.