'Arsenal will want Champions League' – Gunners legend Winterburn says top four 'minimum aim' after impressive summer | The Sun

ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta MUST secure at least a top four spot next season for it to be counted as a successful year.

That is according to Gunners legend Nigel Winterburn who has questioned whether his job would be under pressure should he fail to secure Champions League football again.


The North London outfit narrowly missed out on fourth spot last season as they finished two points behind Tottenham.

Leading their arch-rivals by four points with three games to play, Arsenal dropped below Antonio Conte's side following back-to-back defeats against Spurs and Newcastle.

But there is optimism from Arsenal fans going into the new campaign following a fantastic pre-season and the big-money arrivals of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira.

With Arteta backed yet again following last year's £150m summer spending spree, Winterburn has insisted finishing in the top four should be a minimum.

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Speaking exclusively to SunSport on behalf of FreeSuperTips, the 58-year-old legend was asked what would count as a successful season to Arsenal.

To which he said: "I don't know whether it would be a case of Mikel Arteta's job coming under pressure if they didn't get Champions League football.

"I think you really need to look into the season and how Arsenal performs across it.

"But before we've even kicked a ball, the club will be looking at a Champions League spot.

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"They should have had it last season, but they blew it, and they will know that.

"That's gone now, you've got to refocus and the new players coming in will help improve those chances.

"Arsenal just have to go again and for me the top four is something they need to be aiming for as a minimum.

"For me you have to look at things after ten games, then 20 games when you're halfway through a season.

"We'll see where Arsenal are and re-evaluate from that stage to see what direction the club is going in."

And Winterburn, who has also urged the club to sign Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, has stated it would be a "disaster" if they lost their opening three matches again.

He remarked: "If they lose the first three games, there will be a lot of disbelief around.

"For me, it simply can't happen because it would be a complete and utter disaster.

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"They've had a good pre-season, quality players have come in, the squad is in good health for the most part, so there is no reason why I would expect Arsenal to lose the first three games.

"If they have the same start as last season, then that would be unacceptable."

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