Tony Adams has expressed his dismay that Arsenal signed Martin Odegaard, Nicolas Pepe and Willian rather than strengthening their "fragile" defence.
Mikel Arteta landed Odegaard on loan for the rest of the season last month and the attacking midfielder has suggested he would be keen to join the Gunners on a permanent basis.
Willian has failed to make the impact the Arteta had hoped for after the Brazilian switched London clubs when his Chelsea contract expired, failing to score a single goal and providing only three assists in 24 appearances.
Pepe is another winger who has been a disappointment since he become the club's record signing, with Arsenal paying Nice £72 million (A$130) for his services in 2019.
The Ivory coast international has struggled to make an impact in the Premier League; scoring nine goals, laying on six assists and creating 46 chances in 47 top-flight appearances.
Arteta brought in centre-backs Gabriel and William Saliba, but Gunners legend Adams has questioned his former club's transfer business.
He told Premier League Productions: "To be honest, there's an argument that you don't need Martin Odegaard.
"I got so annoyed that we bought Pepe and Willian in when you've got two kids [Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka] bursting into the team.
"There's other areas in the team that you could look at, there's holes in that team, we saw how fragile they are defensively. The defence has always been the weak link.
"As the sporting director of Arsenal, you wouldn't be getting Odegaard in, you'd be getting good, strong defenders into the team instead."
Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet in their last six games but beat Leeds United 4-2 on Sunday, courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hat-trick, to sit 10th in the Premier League.