Arsenal chief tells Unai Emery he must qualify for the Champions League – Mirror Online

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been told it’s Champions League or bust this season.

The Gunners finished fifth in the Spaniard’s debut campaign at the Emirates last term after a run of just eight points in their final seven matches in the Premier League.

They also reached the Europa League Final, only to be thrashed in Baku by an Eden Hazard-inspired Chelsea .

This summer saw Emery freshen up his squad with the £72million arrival of Nicolas Pepe, defensive duo Kieran Tierney and David Luiz, young striker Gabriel Martinelli and Spain international Dani Ceballos – who arrived on loan from Real Madrid .

Currently, despite question marks over the side’s defence and an embarrassing second half at Watford – in which they threw away a two-goal lead – Arsenal sit third in the table, one point behind champions Manchester City .

The pressure is on the Spaniard
(Image: Robin Jones – AFC Bournemouth)

And speaking at a fan’s forum on Thursday night,head of football Raul Sanllehi has made it clear that Emery is expected to deliver Champions League football for 2020-21.

“We said to Unai that we just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last year,” said Sanllehi.

“But this year, with a stronger squad, we expect you to do that.”

Raul Sanllehi and sporting director Edu
(Image: David Price)

Emery signed a two-year contract in north London – with the option for a further year – when replacing Arsene Wenger in 2018.

Failure to reach Europe’s premier club competition next term doesn’t necessarily mean Arsenal won’t take up the option in the ex-Sevilla coaches’ deal – but it certainly won’t help his cause.

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On the subject of out-of-favour Mesut Ozil, who has been missing from matchday squads of late and has made just two appearances so far this term, Sanllehi laid the blame for his recent absences squarely at the £350,000-a-week midfielder’s feet.

“Unai’s policy has always been to play the ones that work hard in training.”

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