Former Arsenal defender William Gallas insists Mikel Arteta must lead the Gunners into the top four this season or he will have “failed”.
Arteta is into his third season at the Emirates and has put his side in the mix for Champions League qualification.
Arsenal are currently four points off Manchester United in fourth but have three games in hand on the Red Devils.
But after a summer spend of over £150m, Gallas believes fourth spot is a minimum requirement for the Gunners.
“If they don’t finish top four, it’s a failure. It’s that simple,” Gallas told Metro.
“When you play and manage a big club like Arsenal, your target is to finish top four. I know it’s not easy with so many clubs like City, Chelsea, United, Liverpool, Tottenham but that doesn’t matter – you have to finish in the top four at a minimum.
“You’ve got a strong squad with Arsenal, if Arteta doesn’t make top four, he’s failed.”
Arteta allowed Aubameyang to leave on a free transfer in January after a number of disciplinary problems, and Gallas believes only time will tell if Arteta made the right call.
“If the club took that decision, they must have a reason to let Aubameyang go to Barcelona,” Gallas added.
“They took that decision in the best interests of the squad. Something has clearly happened; we don’t know what happened between Aubameyang and Arteta and now everyone has to move on.
“It looks like Arsenal without him are doing well, their goal is to qualify for the Champions League. If they do that, everyone will say they made the right decision but if they don’t, they’ll say why did they let Aubameyang leave?
“Ultimately, we’ll only know at the end of the season.”