Former England star blasts Premier League club for transfer market stinginess despite being one of world’s richest clubs

Former Arsenal and England defender, Martin Keown, says it is unbelievable that Gunners head coach Unai Emery is not allowed to spend in January despite the club being among the world’s richest football teams. The Arsenal legend says Emery is facing a “weird” situation in being forced to pursue loan deals during the January transfer window.

The Gunners boss has revealed that he will be given no funds with which to strengthen his squad during the winter transfer window. Instead, the Spaniard is being forced to seek out loan deals – with Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez being a top target. Arsenal is also in danger of losing head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, with the German considering a return to the Bundesliga at Bayern Munich.

All this has left Keown baffled as to how those at Emirates Stadium have got into this predicament: “It’s a very weird situation at Arsenal. For the club to say they’re only allowed to loan players… This is the sixth-wealthiest club in the world! And we can’t buy a player in this transfer window? I think that’s astonishing!”

It may be that Arsenal free up funds by offloading a few of those already on their books. An exit has been mooted for Mesut Ozil, with the German playmaker having struggled to hold down a regular role under Emery of late. The Gunners boss has offered no indication that he is actively looking for a buyer, but Keown is among those to share the belief that the 2014 World Cup winner is no longer giving his all for the good of a collective cause. The former defender added: “I think Unai Emery is trying to work with Ozil. People are now saying they want more creativity, but first of all he has to work and be prepared to work to the ethic the manager has. And I just don’t think Ozil wants to do that at the moment.”

It remains to be seen whether the 30-year-old will be included in Arsenal’s plans for a crunch clash with Chelsea on Saturday. The Gunners are set to welcome their London rivals to the Emirates as they sit fifth in the Premier League table, six points adrift of the Blues and the final Champions League spot – with resurgent Manchester United having pulled level with them.