Mikel Arteta opens up on the cost of no Champions League football
Mikel Arteta has admitted that it would be difficult for the Gunners to attract top players if they fail to qualify for the Champions League.
Arsenal has been out of Europe’s top competition for three seasons now and their current position on the league table means that they will struggle to earn qualification again.
They were hoping to reach the competition by winning the Europa League, but they have been knocked out and the league is now their only hope of qualification.
Arteta hasn’t had a summer transfer window yet because he was only made Arsenal’s manager last December, however, he was expected to have a busy time in the summer and the club hopes to strengthen their squad.
However, Arteta has admitted that their absence from the competition would see them struggle to compete for big-name stars as the best players want to play in the Champions League and he also admitted that the financial hit the club has taken will affect their plans as well.
When asked if it would have been easier for them to sign players if they had qualified for the Champions League, Arteta replied as quoted in the Independent: “I think it is a no-brainer, every player in the world wants to play Champions League and, if you talk about having this option on the table, players are in a much more open way to join this club or to renew their contract or to convince anybody because we want to be in that competition.
“It will be difficult but this is the situation we are in now. We’ve been in that situation because we haven’t performed as well as the other top four clubs have been doing. That’s the reality and we have to face that reality face to face and try to make the best decisions.”
He added: “I think the damage caused by the club not being in the Champions League for the third season is really big, financially the impact is enormous because the structure of this club is built to be in the Champions League and you can sustain that for one year or two, but then after you have to start making decisions.
“So we will have to make decisions one way or the other depending on the scenario we find ourselves, whether we are in the Champions League, Europa League or nowhere near that. We’ll have a very clear plan of what we want to do and depending where we are we have to act like this.”