- Arsenal boss Unai Emery spent £152m on new players in the summer window
- There is pressure on his shoulders to deliver a return to the Champions League
- At a fans’ forum, Raul Sanllehi admitted that they club ‘expect’ a top-four finish
- He also spoke on Mesut Ozil, saying Emery picks XI who ‘work hard in training’
Unai Emery faces an uncertain future at Arsenal if he fails to secure the Champions League
Raul Sanllehi addressed Arsenal fans at a forum on Thursday, speaking on a range of topics
Emery (right) spent £152million on new players in the summer and there are high expectations
Nicolas Pepe has flattered to deceive at the Emirates since he arrived for £72m from Lille
Unai Emery risks losing his job as Arsenal manager if he fails to deliver a return to the Champions League after spending £152million on new players in the summer.
Arsenal are once again competing in Europe’s second tier competition, with the club and fans longing to be back in the Champions League this season.
The Gunners currently sit third in the table – which would be enough to secure their place – but Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has admitted anything less is not good enough.
Speaking at a fans’ forum on Thursday night, he admitted: ‘We said to Unai that we just missed out on qualifying for the Champions League last year, but this year with a stronger squad, we expect you to do that.’
Nicolas Pepe (Lille, £72m)
William Saliba (Saint Etienne, £27m)
Kieran Tierney (Celtic, £25m)
David Luiz (Chelsea, £7m)
Gabriel Martinelli (Ituano, £6m)
Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid, £15m – loan)
TOTAL = £152million
It is not the first time the club’s hierarchy have fronted up and met the fans.
In the past, they have held a series of forums, in which they take questions from supporters and clear up any ongoing issues.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the subject of Mesut Ozil was also brought up, with the £350,000-a-week midfielder failing to even make the matchday squad of late.
When questioned about his future, Sanllehi said: ‘Unai’s policy has always been to play the ones that work hard in training.’
Ozil has made just two appearances this season and didn’t make the squad for the draw at Manchester United or last weekend’s victory over Bournemouth.
The Gunners spent significantly in the summer as they aim to end their three-year Champions League exodus.
They broke their club transfer record to bring in £72m Lille forward Nicolas Pepe.
A loan deal was brokered with Real Madrid for midfielder Dani Ceballos with a £15m permanent deal agreed.
They spent £25m on Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney and brought in David Luiz from Chelsea for £7m.