Former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie says missing Europa League qualification can work in the club’s favour.
Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League table with just two games of the campaign remaining.
Champions League qualification has gone and manager Mikel Arteta now must hope for the Europa League by either sneaking into seventh spot in the table or winning the FA Cup.
But Van Persie told BT Sport: “You can look at it from two ways really.
“Arsenal doesn’t really want to be in the Europa League, they want to be in the Champions League. But when is the right time to do that?
“From one point of view you can say that it’s maybe better for Mikel to have extra training sessions to work on the tactics, to work on the fitness, to go another level up which is needed to actually compete at the highest level against the bigger teams.
“So if you ask me, I would say that it’s better not to qualify for the Europa League and get those extra sessions in.
“Then hopefully go another level up and hopefully by the end of next year or the season after they can really compete with the biggest teams.”