Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Premier League
Gabriel limped out of Arsenal’s defeat to Tottenham (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta admits his Arsenal team could be struggling for numbers in defence after Gabriel Magalhaes limped out of the defeat to Tottenham on Thursday night.

The Gunners were thrashed 3-0 in the north London derby and things were made all the worse for them by Gabriel’s injury and Rob Holding’s first half red card.

The defeat to Spurs does not see Arsenal slip from fourth place in the Premier League, but it does mean Tottenham are now just one point behind them with two games to play.

Those two games for Arsenal are against Newcastle and Everton and Arteta will be short at the back with Holding suspended and Gabriel probably out injured after going off holding his hamstring.

Ben White stayed on the bench for the whole game against Spurs, despite Holding’s red card and Gabriel’s injury as the England international has a thigh injury.

He is likely to be fit for the Newcastle game, but Arteta could not guarantee that White or Gabriel would be ready to play on Monday night.

‘He [Gabriel] felt something so hopefully Ben will be fit, and hopefully we can recover Gaby,’ Arteta told Sky Sports. ‘Because obviously we don’t have enough players in the back.’

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It was a dreadful night for Arteta at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (Picture: Getty Images)

On why he did not bring on White, despite the clear need for reinforcements in defence after Holding’s red card, Arteta said: ‘To take the risk in the situation of the game didn’t make sense.

‘Now focus on Newcastle, that’s our focus, this game is history.’

With the injuries and suspensions, Takehiro Tomiyasu could be drafted into centre-back, with Nuno Tavares coming in at left-back.

Arsenal’s last two games are at Newcastle and home to Everton, while Spurs host Burnley and go to Norwich.

MORE : Mikel Arteta reveals what he told Arsenal stars after damaging north London derby defeat to Tottenham

MORE : ‘A beautiful game was destroyed’ Mikel Arteta fumes over officials as Arsenal mauled by Tottenham

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