UNAI EMERY admits Arsenal’s Europa League thrashing could hamper his rebuilding plans for the fallen giants.
Boss Emery will be relying on the club’s history to try to attract new signings while he plans a cull of dead wood.
Arsenal face a third season in a row out of the Champions League and Emery faces a tough job chasing new faces as a result.
The Spaniard said: “Maybe. But we are a big team. I think Arsenal is a big name in the football world, and a lot of players want to play here.
“We are in one process and we need, in this process, to be strong. When we started this season, the idea was to get more competitive, like a team. To be closer to the other teams. And we did that.
“At the moment it’s not enough to reach our targets. But we’ll continue working in our minds. The transfers, I don’t know for next year. But the club is working to improve and to take all we need to go our way.
“Also we have a lot of players with the possibility to improve. We are playing a lot of young players, experiencing a final for the first time. I am positive for our future, creating our way with young players and getting better in our way.
“Next year is a big challenge to take one more step in our way, in our will with young players. We are disappointed today but, in general, I think we made a new step improving and being competitive. We’ll need to make one more step next year.”
“At the moment it’s not enough to reach our targets.”
Bournemouth midfielder Ryan Fraser is the main transfer target but funds are limited.
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha is a long shot and that deal won’t happen now with Arsenal condemned to another season in the dreaded Europa League.
Legendary defender Martin Keown labelled the performance as embarrassing.
He added: “I feel sorry for Emery. He’s tried to wring out intensity from players who don’t have it in them. He is a good coach with lots of desire and unfortunately he has more desire than a lot of his players.”
German midfielder Mezut Ozil was booed off when substituted in the second half but is happy so sit it out with two years left on a £350K a week deal.
Emery said: “We need to analyse, speak with the club, speak with the players, and do one step more in our way. But our idea is to continue carrying on improving with the young players who arrived last year.
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“Maybe some players need to leave, to take a new way. But it’s not the moment to speak about that. I’m very proud of our work but not very proud of not taking our target.
“We have good, big players with experience, and some young players can – with their experiences from this year – take a little more in their performances for us.
“This year was useful to be closer to the other teams. Next year we need the same players with the same ideas, to add some new players to give us some situations where we can improve.”