Martin Keown fears Arsenal will struggle to keep hold of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after defeat in the Champions League final.
The Gunners were thumped 4-1 by Chelsea in Baku on Thursday night, missing out on winning a trophy and failing to qualify for the Champions League.
Lacazette is a Barcelona transfer target while Aubameyang won the Premier League’s Golden Boot this season, and despite both failing to find the target for Arsenal in Azerbaijan, are important players for the Gunners.
Keown worries that this latest set-back in failing to qualify for the Champions League could see the pair look for transfers elsewhere.
Speaking on BT Sport after the final, Keown said: “[It was] a system failure for Arsenal. [Chelsea were] too good for Arsenal tonight. It really magnifies the decline of Arsenal football club. It’s nowhere near the club it once was.
“Whether it was [Arsene] Wenger was there too long. Recruitment is what it has to be, and I don’t know if the budget is there to bring Arsenal into the top four next season.
“You mention about keeping the players. Aubameyang and Lacazette, it won’t be easy to hold onto those players. It severely dents the budget. Maybe £40million worse off.
“He’s [Unai Emery] put a lot of work into this, tried to wring out intensity. The judgement of players, the type of player that’s been bought has been more technical, and the, toughness, steeliness doesn’t seem to be there.”