Lichtsteiner ‘hungry’ to return Arsenal to Champions League

Arsenal vs Vorskla Poltava - Preview, Live Match | 20 Sep 2018

The 18-year-old attacking midfielder caught the eye for the Gunners during pre-season, scoring a superb strike against Atletico Madrid in the process, and looks to be a superb alternative to Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey to lead Arsenal's creativity. Instead, they will be playing in the Europa League, starting on Thursday night against PAOK in Greece.

Sarri will be without star man Eden Hazard after the Belgian admitted fatigue following the 4-1 over Cardiff, having had little time to recover following the World Cup.

Three consecutive wins with Sevilla between 2014-16 propelled the new Arsenal boss into a prestigious bracket as only himself and the legendary manager Giovanni Trapattoni have won Europe's second string tournament three times and Emery could be the catalyst needed at the Gunners to help them pick up their first European trophy this century.

But for a club like Arsenal, who start off at home to Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava, winning the Europa League is still a path into next season's Champions League, while remaining a precious piece of silverware in its own right.

"I will start with Leno to give him his minutes and his chances in the game in this competition, but we are going to continue to look and test in every match". "Then, next year I hope, we can talk about the Champions League".

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, left, celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with teammates, during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park, in Newcastle, England, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.

Yet the long-term prospects for the west London club could be best displayed on the road to Baku, where the Europa League final will be held this season, rather than in the Premier League.

The coach has already admitted that Bernd Leno will get his debut tonight.

This season's Europa League could give their new manager, Maurizio Sarri, a chance to showcase in a competitive setting some of Chelsea's brightest talents such as Andreas Christensen, Ethan Ampadu, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Leno has a reputation of being the better goalkeeper with his feet, but Emery insisted it's the quality of Cech's performances that has been keeping the German on the bench.

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