Arsenal can’t miss out on Champions League again: Granit Xhaka, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Arsenal can’t miss out on Champions League again: Granit Xhaka

Ahead of their Europa League final against Chelsea tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has piled pressure on his team, saying they cannot afford not to be playing Champions League football next season.

The Gunners have not qualified for club football's premier tournament for the last two seasons, but a win in Baku, Azerbaijan, would ensure that run ends.

Chelsea have already booked their Champions League spot for next season by virtue of finishing third in the English Premier League.

Said Xhaka: "We have to be in the Champions League.

"We didn't play there for two years and we have to be there next season. All the players, the fans, the club - we want to play against the best teams, and the best teams are in the Champions League.

"We had a good season but lost our way a little bit in the last five games. But if you're in the Europa League final and can take a trophy, get into the Champions League ... we'll take that."

A win would represent Arsenal's first European trophy since 1994 and their chances of doing so appear to rest at the feet of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, reported AFP.

While the Gunners have frequently toiled defensively this season, conceding 51 goals in EPL, manager Unai Emery knows he is the envy of almost every coach in Europe with strikers Lacazette and Aubameyang in his ranks.

They have scored 50 times between them this season, with Lacazette getting 19 goals and being named the club's Player of the Year by Arsenal supporters.

His tally has been put in the shade by Aubameyang, who has netted 31 times, including 22 EPL goals to share the Golden Boot with Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in his first full season in England.

"I gave everything to try to be in the top four with the team and to get a trophy," he said recently.