Arsenal's progress not enough: Emery

BAKU • Some players may need to leave Arsenal as Unai Emery continues to rebuild the squad, the manager has said after they were thrashed 4-1 by Chelsea in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan.

Second-half goals from Olivier Giroud, Pedro and a double from Eden Hazard ensured that the Gunners - who scored through Alex Iwobi - failed to win their fourth successive European final.

Emery said his team, who finished fifth in the English Premier League, were still very much in a "process" and he would evaluate his options over the summer.

"We need to speak with the club, speak with the players, and do one step more in our way," he said.

"But our idea is to continue... improving with the young players who arrived last year.

"Maybe some players need to leave, to take a new way. We are closer to the other (top) teams but, at the moment, it's not enough.

"Other players will come in and help us get better in our capacity."

The defeat means Arsenal failed to earn a spot in next season's Champions League for the third successive year, but the Spaniard said another Europa League campaign would not put off potential targets joining the club.

"I think Arsenal is a big name in the football world, and a lot of players want to play here," he added.

"The transfers, I don't know for next year. But the club is working to improve and to take all we need to go our way. Also, we have a lot of players with the possibility to improve."

Emery, however, conceded that Chelsea had deserved the victory.

"We tried to stay in the match, but their second goal made it difficult for us," the 47-year-old said.

"It was going better for them and, when we wanted to do something, we couldn't find what we needed to score. They deserved to win."

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said he had "no regrets" as he played the final match of his career. The 37-year-old won the Champions League and four Premier League titles at Chelsea and there have been reports linking him with a return to Stamford Bridge in a non-playing capacity.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2019, with the headline 'Arsenal's progress not enough: Emery'. Print Edition | Subscribe