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Every word Mikel Arteta said about how important the Europa League is to Arsenal & Granit Xhaka

How important is the Europa League for this generation and the football club?

Well huge, because the club has to be represented in Europe, that’s 100%. And ideally obviously in the Champions League. The thing is that the competition in this league now it’s so big that a few teams who took this for granted for many, many years it’s not the case anymore.

So now the Europa League becomes a huge competition. If you see how the competition has evolved in the last four or five years with the teams involved, you will say that it’s another Champions League competition even if people doesn’t treat it that way. For us it’s vital. We want to carry on playing in the competition. It’s a trophy and we’re gonna go for it.

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Arsenal in terms of prestige have to be in Europe don’t they?

Absolutely, yes.

How important is Granit Xhaka to the team and why do you think some fans have never really appreciated him?

I think it’s more related, at least since I’ve been here and I know more about what happened in the past about the incidents you are talking about that have left some people disappointed or expecting a different reaction or not liking what happened.

We talk about what happened this season in terms of performances and consistency. I think he’s even better than last season. Certainly after the Burnley game I think he made another step forward and he’s played because he deserves to play.

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