Former Gunner Alexander Hleb reckons that Arsenal’s best route back into the Champions League is to win the Europa League.
Hleb believes that Arsenal should just ‘go for it’ in the Europa League and pull a Manchester United.
“Arsenal could do what Manchester United did,” Hleb told The Independent.
“They should be aiming to win every competition, which they are capable of doing. The Europa League offers another opportunity for them to qualify for the Champions League. If the chance presents itself, they should go for it.”
United beat Ajax 2-0 in the Europa League final in May. This meant that despite them finishing in sixth place in the Premier League, they were entered into the Champions League automatically.
Given that Arsenal are currently sitting down in seventh and there are several teams, such as Manchester United and City, who are looking much stronger this season, going all out for the Europa League is definitely an option.
While Arsene Wenger will probably at least attempt to stage a title-winning campaign now, towards the end of the season rotating the squad so our stronger players can go all out for the Europa League isn’t a bad idea. Providing that we’re still in it come the end of the season, of course.
The Gunners face BATE Borisov in Belarus, Hleb’s home country, on Thursday night hoping for another win.
They beat FC Cologne 3-1 during their first game after the boss put out a mixed team, which included youth as well as first team regulars. I imagine we’ll see a similar starting XI against Borisov.