Date: 16th May 2017 at 2:27pm
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Laurent Koscielny has opened up on a number of topics including how missing out on next season’s Champions League would be ‘disappointing’ for Arsenal as a club and himself personally.

A win in the visit of Sunderland this evening is a must as is a victory to end against Everton. However, even then Arsenal are relying on Manchester City, probably more so Liverpool, to slip up.

While there’s a chance the Arsenal defender said we’ll keep fighting to finish in the top-four as the Champions League is a level of European competition all the best clubs want to be as do the top players.

He told Sky Sports: ‘We perform every weekend to be in the top four and to fight for the title over the season. To not be in the Champions League next season would be a very disappointing situation for us but we will fight until the end to have as much of a chance to be there next season. The Champions League is a competition that a player wants to play in because you play against the best teams in Europe and it is always an important competition… It is very important for Arsenal to be with the best teams in the world.’

Koscielny, committed to Arsenal on a long-term contact, takes comfort from the fact most clubs in the Premier League are capable of beating each other. But we will concentrate on what we can influence and then hope for a favour elsewhere.

‘We have a small chance [of making the top four], but in football, you don’t know, especially in England. All the teams can win against each other and we need to do our job first, to have the two wins and after that, we wait for the results of Liverpool and Man City.’

Wenger has always insisted uncertainty about his future hasn’t impacted on the players. Koscielny admitted some might be a little unsettled but focusing on the job in hand is what they’re doing not worrying about the boss – he’s also got no idea what Wenger will do.

He said: ‘We are all in the same boat and the top thing is Arsenal. Maybe some players don’t feel great but we need to be focused on our job and not worry about Arsene. I don’t know [if there are signs that Wenger will leave]. Sometimes I could say yes and sometimes I could say no so I think we will respect his decision. He has given a lot to this club during 20 years and done an unbelievable job so we need to respect this and we will respect his decision at the end of the season.’

French international Koscielny has nothing but respect for Wenger though and feels he’s had a huge influence on his career.

Adding: ‘For me, he is a person I like a lot. He is a big part of my life and my career so I have a lot respect for him. I can’t say anything about him, just nice things.’

He finished by talking about Alexis Sanchez and how all the players want him the Chilean to stay at Arsenal as he’s an ‘unbelievable player’ and vitally important to the Gunners.

Koscielny said: ‘Sometimes, he is disappointed with the result of our game but he knows that we just want to fight for each other and for the club. When you have a player like this in your team, to show the way we want to grow together, it is important and I think he has a lot of players behind him to keep him. I don’t think there are a lot of players like him and a player like this who can be the difference during the game, it’s rare. We want to keep him with us because we know he is so important for our team.’

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