Arsenal face a difficult summer in the transfer market after they missed out on Champions League qualification for a third consecutive season.
The Gunners finished outside of the top four in the Premier League, while defeat in the Europa League final to Chelsea slammed that door shut too as an alternative path.
In turn, it was a disappointing first season in charge for Unai Emery, and it could now also lead to difficult decisions off the pitch for the Spaniard.
According to The Mirror, he may be forced to offload players first in order to increase his reported £40m transfer budget this summer, with Shkodran Mustafi, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal the trio specifically named in the report as those in danger of being axed.
It remains to be seen how much Arsenal could potentially get for those three players, especially with Koscielny and Monreal in the latter stages of their respective careers, but given their porous defence this past season, it’s no surprise that defenders are being touted as the first in line to face an exit this summer.
With the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the attacking third to fire them towards their objectives, Arsenal need to shore things up at the back.
If they do indeed have such a limited budget ahead of next season, then Emery may well have to oversee a reshuffle in that department and get rid of those currently at his disposal to try and create space in the squad and financial flexibility to bring in targets to further stamp his mark on the group.
Nevertheless, it’s not just the backline that needs to be addressed as it’s a team responsibility to be hard to break down, and they were simply not good enough in that department last season which in turn was a key factor in their disappointing results.