Arsenal hero Freddie Ljungberg warned the club that they face a big problem if they miss out on qualifying for the Champions League.
Mikel Arteta’s side issued a response with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace – but they are still are facing missing out on European football entirely next season after a dismal campaign.
West Ham’s win over West Brom dealt their qualification hopes a further blow and it might be too little, too late to address the problem Ljungberg mentioned.
Speaking before Wednesday night’s game against Crystal Palace, Ljungberg warned Arsenal that they face losing key players if they fail to qualify for Europe.
He said on BT SPort: “Arsenal as a club needs to be in Europe and probably should be in the Europa League, should be in the Champions League.
“Not to make it all would be a big problem.
“I would probably go as far as saying will the big players want to stay?
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“Do they say ‘I want to go play in the Champions League. I’m not staying’.?
“If you look at yourself and you’ve been doing it for a couple of years, not playing Champions League, maybe it’s time they feel like they want to leave and feel like the want to try their way somewhere else.”
It seems, however, that Ljungberg’s warning came too late for Arsenal, who need results to go their way if they are to qualify.
West Ham’s 3-1 win over West Brom on Wednesday saw them tighten their grip on sixth place, the final Europa League spot.
If the Gunners don’t beat Brighton, they’ll face a year of domestic football only.