Arsenal legend Robert Pires believes the Gunners are unlikely to finish in the top-four of the Premier League this term, and they will have to place their priority on winning the Europa League in order to attain Champions League football next season.
In an exclusive with The Sun, Pires: "The Europa League has to be Arsenal's priority now, already. The objective has to be to do what Manchester United did last season - they are a good example. United won the Europa League and went straight into the Champions League – for Arsenal it is very important to get this state of mind. It’s a trophy, a good trophy, so it’s very important. And this season it is the last opportunity Arsenal have of making the Champions League."
The north London side are presently eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with just 11 games left to play, and their chances of making a comeback look bleak owing to their mediocre away form, which has seen them attain just 13 points in 14 outings this season.
Jose Mourinho's United became the first English club to successfully win the Europa League to make their entry into Champions League football, but they had the luck of the draw with most of the sides in the competition being a pedigree below them.
However, this does not appear the case this season with Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund among others likely to be fancied to push through the latter stages, where the concentration and composure often plays a big role in reaching to the summit.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup in three of their previous four seasons under Arsene Wenger, but they suffered a massive disappointment this term after they were ousted in the third round. Despite this, they still have an opportunity to claim silverware, having reached the final of the League Cup, where they take on Manchester City this weekend.