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Should Arsenal Focus On Winning The Europa League? Weighing The Pros and Cons

After a victorious Europa League group stage campaign in November, Arsenal returned to European action on Thursday.

However, there is an argument to suggest that they should drop out of the competition as soon as possible to focus on winning the Premier League.

The club's unexpected title bid in the Premier League, which currently sees the Gunners leading by five points over Manchester City, has dominated the focus since then. 

However, the 2-2 draw last night brought new challenges for Arteta as he must decide how best to balance his squad's workload with three defining months of a potentially historic campaign remaining.

But is winning the Europa League worth the risk? Are the potential negatives greater than the positives for Arsenal this season?

1: The Injury Risk (CON)

While Arteta will no doubt rotate his pack in the Europa League, he will still have to give minutes to his main senior stars, especially if Arsenal goes deep into the knockout rounds. 

Last night, the likes of Granit Xhaka and Gabriel Martinelli featured as expected, and this left many fans nervous with so much at stake in the Premier League. 

Arsenal has viewed the Europa League as the club's best route back into the Champions League during previous campaigns. However, given their current position, Champions League football already seems all but secured for next season thanks to their remarkable domestic form this season. 

It is, therefore, a risk to use players integral to Arsenal's chances of winning the Premier League. An injury to Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard or Thomas Partey, for example, would be a hammer blow to the club's hopes of winning the Premier League for the first time since 2004.

2: Bringing Players in from the Cold (PROS)

Arteta's squad has his favorites, and this has been reflected in the starting XI for a Premier League match, given every member of his squad available. A lot of Arsenal's success this season has been built on that continuity, which has been a significant plus for them. 

However, it has left some players, like Kieran Tierney, feeling slightly unwanted. The Europa League, then, will give Arteta the chance to give players like Tierney, Kiwior, Holding, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jorginho and Matt Turner the game time they need to feel part of the group. 

It will also give Emile Smith Rowe valuable minutes as he continues to step up his workload following his return from injury. This could all be crucial to both the Europa League campaign and the Premier League.

3: The Fatigue Issue (CON)

Arsenal has only had to concentrate on the Premier League since November, with the odd cup game, but early exits in both domestic competitions ensured fixture congestion was not really ever an issue. 

However, if Arsenal goes deep into the Europa League, fatigue within the squad will become a problem that Arteta has to deal with. It's not just the extra games, but the travel as well, and the combination of both will put a strain on the squad that it hasn't had to deal with so far this season.

4: A Chance to End Arsenal's European Drought (PROS)

It has been 31 years since Arsenal last won a European trophy, and a trophy still eludes them despite coming close. 

For a club the size and standing of Arsenal in the European game, that is not good enough, and given the way they are playing this season, they would have a real chance of going on and winning the Europa League if they take it seriously over the next few months.


Arsenal cannot afford to throw away the chance of success in the Europa League. There is still far too much time left in the season to consider doing something like that. 

Arteta will make changes, as he always does, but he will do it with the belief that the team he picks will be good enough to see Arsenal progress both in Europe and England.

While there are risks involved, such as injuries and fatigue, the potential benefits of ending Arsenal's long European drought and giving some players much-needed game time make it a worthwhile pursuit.

Content created and supplied by: SOG-SPORTS (via Opera News )

Arsenal Arteta Europa League Gunners Manchester City


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