Jack Wilshere has said Arsenal should aim to finish in the top six and bring some European football back to the Emirates.
The Gunners have been steadily declining since their failure to qualify for the Champions League in the 2016/17 season.
Arsenal risk being plunged into Premier League mediocrity
An eighth place in the Premier League last season meant there was no football on the continent for Arsenal for the first time since the 1994/95 campaign.
Regarding Arsenal’s goals this season, Wilshere said on Drive: “I think they have to aim for the top six. They need to get European football back to some extent.
“When you have Europa League games you have the opportunity to bring younger players together – try new tactics and formations so that they have to bring that back for the fans as well. “
Wilshere was asked about young people who could benefit from a return to Europa League football. The midfielder chose two names that fans should watch out for, including Charlie Patino, who already has the ability to play for the first team despite being 17 years old.
There is a lot of excitement about Patino, who has been with Arsenal since he was 12.
He added: “I watched their last two games – the last one being against Newport which is men’s football so we can see where they are at.
“They have good players like Omari Hutchinson.
“The one everyone’s talking about, that I haven’t seen up close yet, is Charlie Patino. I saw clips of him and people the staff knew him.
“He has the capacity, he definitely has the capacity. If you put him in a game with the first team, he wouldn’t look out of place.
. – Contributor
Wilshere knows exactly what it takes to rise through the ranks at Arsenal
“In terms of dealing with the pressure you don’t know until you’re out there, especially with the fans coming back and a lot of pressure on the club to get results.
“I think technically he’s really good enough. “
Manager Mikel Arteta, responsible for bringing Arsenal back to Europe and bringing the stars to the academy, has seen many ups and downs during his nearly two-year tenure.
Some Arsenal fans have doubts about Arteta but Wilshere, who is currently training with his former club, is encouraged by what he has seen.
Wilshere played alongside Arteta at Arsenal for five years and now trains at Arsenal under the Spaniard
On Arteta, Wilshere said: “What I remember the most about him is when he came to Arsenal as a player.
“From day one he was talking to everyone and finally he took the armband. He was our leader, our voice, the link between the manager and the players.
“I’ve been training there for the last week and it’s fascinating to see how he is – the way he talks to the players. He has a clear philosophy that he tries to make them understand.
“You can see what the manager wants to do. He’s a young manager, a good manager, a good coach. On the training ground, he’s really good and he gets his message across to the players.
Wilshere urged Arsenal fans to trust the process with Arteta
“But they are young. A lot of them are new to the Premier League so it’s going to take a while. I know the fans want quick results and challenges but it will take time, they are on the right track.
The club are in a better position than under Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery, insists Wilshere, who believes the current Villarreal manager was not a good candidate for the club.
Wilshere said: “There was a big change when Arsène [Wenger] left. I’m not the one who’s bitter because Unai told me I could leave but I don’t think he was the right person.
“You look at the teams he’s been on and he wants to set up a low block counterattack and that wasn’t the way Arsenal or the players they had were set up to play.
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Emery has won trophies at three of the last four clubs he has led – Arsenal being the exception
“I don’t think he was the right person, but now they’re on the right track. There was always going to be a hollow when Arsene left because it changed so quickly – he was in control.
“But now they seem to be slowly building up and coming back to where they should be. “
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