Unai Emery Admits Failure to Qualify for UCL Could Affect Arsenal Transfer Plans

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMay 30, 2019

Arsenal FC coach Unai Emery during the UEFA Europa League final match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at the Baki Olimpiya Stadionu on May 29, 2019 in Baku, Azerbaijan(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has admitted Arsenal's summer transfer plans could be affected by their failure to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League. 

Chelsea thrashed the Gunners 4-1 in Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final in Baku, Azerbaijan, to deny Arsenal their last route into Europe's top-tier competition.

Emery told reporters after the result that recruitment efforts could be impacted as a result: "Maybe, but I think we are a big team, and I think Arsenal are a big name in the football world."

Eden Hazard scored twice for Chelsea along with goals from Pedro and former Gunners forward Olivier Giroud, while Alex Iwobi scored a thunderbolt consolation at 3-0 down (U.S. only):

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Olivier Giroud entered the #UELFinal as the competition's top scorer, and he left with another goal, another assist, and the trophy 😏🏆🔵 Watch every big moment from Chelsea's triumph on the #UEL Final Highlight Show on #BRLive: https://t.co/wefmojP9Wq https://t.co/Tq2SEwx5PQ

Emery took Arsenal to fifth in the Premier League in his maiden campaign with the club, only a slight improvement on the run to sixth that Arsene Wenger recorded in his final season.

The Spaniard went on to say he felt there were players in the squad who had "the possibility to improve and grow up with us." Most of his recruitment last summer involved more senior stars, but Emery has also opened first-team opportunities for young players in the squad.

It's uncertain how much Arsenal can afford to spend on players this summer, though journalist James Benge argued their crop of youth players could provide a strong spine:

James Benge @jamesbenge

Arsenal have Nelson, Smith Rowe, Willock, Mavropanos and a lot of other talented youngsters on the books. Incoming technical director and Sanllehi could do much worse than simply tell Emery, 'play the kids'

Aside from a dent in potential earnings, missing the Champions League is almost certain to rule Arsenal out of certain signings unwilling to play for a club that won't feature.

The north Londoners have lost in three major European finals since 2000 and ended their second successive season without any silverware.

It makes Arsenal's recruitment efforts more difficult, though there's no guarantee a greater profile or expense guarantees a better product.

Mezut Ozil is contracted to Arsenal until 2021 and earns a reported £350,000 per week, but the midfielder was jeered for his limp display against Chelsea, per blogger Tim Stillman:

Tim Stillman @Stillberto

Another observation, I’ve heard some players ‘get it’ from Arsenal fans in recent years, but the booing Mesut Özil took when subbed was the most brutal I’ve heard at Arsenal. Savage.

His decline at the Emirates Stadium this season is an example of a high-value asset not performing to  optimum levels and the potential pitfalls of signing big talents.

The transfer window opened on May 16 and will close on Thursday, August 8.


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