Much has been said and written about the importance of the Europa League for Arsenal lately. At the moment, the prospect of winning the Europe’s second-tier competition is the only feasible scenario that would see the club qualify for next season’s Champions League, but Alexandre Lacazette believes its significance goes beyond that aspect.
In a season that can hardly be described as a successful one on other fronts, winning such an important trophy may hold the key to manager Arsene Wenger staying at the club. The striker says it would be a good way to save the season as the team aren’t doing particularly well in the Premier League. He points out that Wenger has done much for the club during his reign which now stretches past the two-decade mark.
Having beaten CSKA Moscow over two legs in the quarterfinal, Arsenal will now face Atletico Madrid in a battle to book a place in the final of the competition. The chance to do that very thing hold special significance for Lacazette.
Arsenal signed the Frenchman last summer for over £50 million from Olympique Lyon, his boyhood club. And there, at their stadium of Parc Olympique Lyonnais, this season’s Europa League final will be played.
Lacazette says playing there, in his home town, in front of his family and friends, is something he really wants. But of course, there’s more to his wish to play in the final than an emotional return home – he came to Arsenal because he wants to win trophies.
Winning the Europa League perhaps isn’t quite being top of the world, but it would be a good start for a player in his first season at the club.
Arsenal can be backed at 3/1 to win the trophy and secure Champions League football for next season.