“Winning UEL Not Enough”

Winning the Europa League is unlikely to convince contract rebels Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to stay at Arsenal, according to former Arsenal striker Alan Smith.

The Gunners dropped out of the Champions League places last season and no longer have that bargaining chip in discussions with the two players running down their current deals.

“I do not think it would persuade them to stay if they won the Europa League,” the former Gunners striker told Sky Sports.

“Jose Mourinho at one stage in the season went ‘I’ll put all my eggs in one basket’, and it paid off.

“That’s not always going to be the case.

“I think for Arsene Wenger he could go both ways.

“He is playing a totally different 11 in the Europa League anyway, it’s not like he’s mixing and matching.

“I think he will go that way for as long as possible.

“I think if they are in seventh position with no chance of getting into the Champions League spots then yes, he will probably do that [play his strongest side] in the latter stages, if they are still there.”

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