It was a game Arsenal had to win, and yet, it wasn’t surprising in the slightest when the full-time whistle blew with the Gunners the losing team.
Unai Emery’s side went into the Europa League final needing to win in order to guarantee Champions League football for next season after failing to finish in a top-four spot in the Premier League table after an awful set of results in the run-in, but a collapse in Baku saw Arsenal 4-1 losers to Chelsea, leaving the north London side in big trouble.
The implications of losing the final are massive. It means that Arsenal will only have a reported £40 million to spend this summer, severely limiting Emery’s ability to bring in the players the club need in order to progress and also meaning that some star players might need to leave this transfer window to up the funds.
So what does the future hold for Arsenal after such a disappointing result and overall negative season? It means another year of settling for Thursday night football and more time for Emery to fix the problems the club have endured for years.
The Spaniard needs to be ruthless this summer, selling off those who simply aren’t good enough for the club, the likes of Mesut Ozil, Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi to name a few, and reinvest most of the money into completely rebuilding the defence to an actual top-six level in the Premier League.
As well as trying to plug as many holes as possible in the defence, Emery must be willing to take a risk and turn to the abundance of youth talent that is currently coming through at Arsenal.
Promoting the likes of Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka will not only add more excitement to the first-team but will also win over fans who believe the club have not done enough to bring through players from the academy.
Arsenal’s future goals of returning to the Champions League have been hit down a peg massively after the defeat in Baku, but such a loss could become the catalyst for change in north London, and see those who don’t care enough about the badge leave this summer and see a new generation rise.
Arsenal fans, what does the future hold for the club after such a loss? Let us know!
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