Arsene Wenger says the Europa League is more competitive than ever with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs still in the mix this season, however, he admits he’d still rather be in the Champions League.
Last season’s failure to finish in the Premier League top four meant Arsenal failed to qualify for UEFA’s top competition for the first time in the Frenchman’s long tenure.
It had been hoped that improvement on the domestic front would mean a quick return to Europe’s top table but with league form awful, the only tangible chance of that happening is to win the Europa League; a tall order given the other clubs involved.
Asked about the difference between the two competitions before Arsenal’s Europa League second-leg last-16 clash with AC Milan, Wenger said:
“Look, I want to be in the Champions League. But the Europa League is very strong this year. On a par? Well, look at Milan, Dortmund and Atleti. There are many good teams.
“This competition is at a higher level than ever.
“Anything can run against you we just have to produce a performance that is expected from us. The competition is very tight.”
Should Arsenal successfully overcome Milan on Thursday, we’ll find out our opponents in the quarter-final on Friday.