That’s the verdict of journalist David Ornstein, who believes Emery has ‘concerns’ over Konstantinos Mavropanos and would like to sell Shkodran Mustafi – while captain Laurent Koscielny has gone AWOL.
Koscielny, 33, refused to travel to America for Arsenal’s pre-season tour last week.
And the Gunners released a statement condemning his surprising antics, saying: “Laurent Koscielny has refused to travel to the US for our pre-season tour.
“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions. We hope to resolve this matter and will not be providing any further comment at this time.”
It is believed Koscielny is furious with the club for turning down his request to leave this summer, with a year still to run on his contract at the Emirates.
However, Ornstein claims the Frenchman is not the only defensive issue for Emery ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.
“I’m told that Konstantinos Mavropanos is not seen as a credible option at the moment, there are concerns over his development and his readiness physically,” he said on the Arseblog Arsecast podcast.
“I don’t know if it’s mentally as well, but I was just told his development and his readiness to compete for a position now are of concern.
“They’ve tried to sell [Shkodran Mustafi] in the past, they would like to sell him again this summer”
“And then there’s the Mustafi situation. They’ve tried to sell him in the past, they would like to sell him again this summer.
“In the aftermath and the fallout from the Europa League final, even Emery – who had backed him in his first season at the club despite the series of high-profile errors – decided enough was enough.
“Just to be clear, I know that he didn’t play in the final. People have pointed out that he didn’t play. It was at the end of the season, his reflections were that Mustafi can go. But Mustafi is under contract until 2021 and has no desire to leave. So that one is not going to work, he’s going to be staying.
“They were already looking to recruit in that area to bolster the ranks when it included Koscielny, so this is a major headache.”
One defender being linked with a move to Arsenal is 18-year-old Saint-Etienne starlet William Saliba.
But while Ornstein insists a deal is close, he also claims the centre-half will be loaned back to the French side this season.
“Arsenal are close to completing a deal for Saliba. It’s not final yet because they’ve got to finalise the details on that one, but they’re close to completing that deal,” he said.
“However, he’ll go back to Saint-Etienne for the entirety of next season and that’s not going to change. He’s 18 years old and that’s in the plan.
“So you can write him off for a year.”