Ian Wright says it's "imperative" that Arsenal bring in Houssem Aouar because the Lyon star can help feed the Gunners' attacking line when possession is turned over.
Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of Aouar over the past week as this summer's transfer deadline draws near, but have yet to reach an agreement with Lyon over a final fee.
The French club's president has insisted that the midfielder will not be sold for less than €40 million (£36m/$47m), and confirmed on Monday that they have already rejected a "timid offer" from the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta refused to be drawn on the speculation after watching his side lose 3-1 to Liverpool at Anfield, but alluded to a frantic end to the transfer window when addressing reporters post-match.
Arsenal only managed four shots to the Reds' 21 on Merseyside, and struggled in the transition between defence and attack throughout the 90 minutes, which Wright has identified as a major concern for his old club.
The ex-Gunners striker thinks Aouar is capable of solving Arteta's fluency issues in the middle of the pitch, and hopes a deal will be finalised before October 5.
"It felt like a training game for Liverpool in respect of Arsenal were saying you can try and get out but we will press you," Wright told Premier League Productions after the defeat at Anfield.
"You can see that in Liverpool’s team everyone can move forward because Arsenal were starting so deep but what was evident to me was that we didn’t have that person in midfield who was comfortable enough on the ball until Ceballos came on.
"[They need] someone who they can pass the ball to, who is comfortable to receive it with someone on his back, who can pop it off, who can turn it around the corner. From there Arsenal can play but we can’t do that at the moment.
"That’s why it’s imperative we get Aouar from Lyon. He’s someone that can get on the ball and get the forwards going. You saw the chances that Ceballos made when he came on, that’s what Arsenal need."
The Arsenal legend says Arteta has turned the team into a far more organised outfit, but he cannot see them challenging the elite again unless a player of Aouar's quality is brought in.
"What we’ve seen is that Arsenal can keep it to 3-1 but in times before Arsenal have really collapsed under Unai Emery and in the latter stages under Arsene Wenger," said Wright. "They’re so much more organised now but with the organisation, they need the right pieces in there.
"If they can’t get that player this is what will happen. We can beat the likes of Fulham but when it’s that type of calibre of team (Liverpool), you’ll see Arsenal struggle."