Arsenal have the potential to win the Europa League, midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan said after their 3-0 win at Ostersunds in the first leg of their last 32 tie on Thursday.
Mkhitaryan, who won the Europa League with Manchester United last season, provided two assists as Arsenal built a solid advantage ahead of the second leg on Thursday.
“Why not? We have to keep fighting, we have to win every game and then at the end, we’ll see where we’re at,” Mkhitaryan told reporters when asked about Arsenal winning the competition.
The Armenian also said that the Premier League side could not afford to rest key players for the return leg against Ostersunds, ahead of the League Cup final against Manchester City on Feb. 25, despite being in prime position to seal a last 16 spot.
“We have to focus in every game. It doesn’t matter if we have got a good result or not. We have to win in every game to get more confidence and to have better success,” the 29-year-old said. “It doesn’t matter who we are going to play after the second leg, yes, we have a game in the cup final but we have to play with the same team, I think, and to win at home.”
Arsenal host Ostersunds at the Emirates before playing City twice in quick succession, including a home league match against Pep Guardiola’s side on March 1.
Meanwhile, long-serving Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful of seeing out his current two-year contract at the Premier League club amid speculation about his future.
The Frenchman signed a new contract at Arsenal at the end of last season but the club have shown little progress this as they sit sixth in the league, knocked out of the FA Cup and unsure of Champions League qualification for next season.
The club’s inconsistent performance has led to speculation that Wenger’s 22-year reign could come to an end after the current season.
“I have always respected my contracts,” Wenger, 68, told beIN Sports on Thursday. “I would like to remind you I said no to all the biggest clubs in the world to respect my contract so that’s always what I try to do.
“After that we have as well to accept in our job that the future is the future but for me that’s to win the next game. We have to perform better in every single game and show until the end of the season a complete hunger to win every single game. That’s what it’s about for us.”