If Arsenal do not win the FA Cup Final next weekend, they will have no European football next season. Here are three ways that should change their transfer strategy.
After a disappointing season, Arsenal are on the verge of failing to qualify for any sort of European football since before Arsene Wenger arrived at the club. It would be the final nail in a coffin that perfectly and painfully epitomises what has been a sobering and saddening campaign.
To avoid this, the Gunners must beat Chelsea in next weekend’s FA Cup Final. Should they fail, it will change everything for Mikel Arteta and his rebuild.
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Here are three changes the club should make to its transfer strategy should Europe evade them.
3. Young players can be loaned out
The most obvious consequence of failing to qualify for Europe will be the lack of games. In a normal season, Arsenal play 38 matches in the Premier League, another roughly 10 or so across the two domestic cups, and then a further six group-stage European games plus as many as nine knockout games.
In the 2018/19 season, when they made the Europa League final, they played 58 games. This includes them departing the FA Cup in the fourth round and the EFL Cup in the quarter-finals. Realistically, they will top the 60-match mark on a regular basis.
One of the benefits of playing in the Europa League is that the club can give young players first-team opportunities, especially in the group stages. With no European football, however, the need for rotation and the opportunity to provide young players with minutes are reduced.
This changes things dramatically, and most pertinently, it should motivate Arsenal to offload their young players on loan. The likes of Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and plenty of others will not get regular playing time in north London. So it is time to provide them with that elsewhere.