By Noel Whelan

19th Jul, 2022 | 12:44pm

Expert drops Mikel Arteta sack hint amid new Arsenal claim

Noel Whelan has insisted “serious questions” will be asked of Mikel Arteta if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed it is a “make or break” campaign in the Gunners’ rebuild under the 40-year-old.

According to Transfermarkt, Arsenal have already spent £87.4million on new additions this summer after being pipped to a top-four finish by rivals Tottenham last term.

Arteta’s side have also been heavily linked with moves for Youri Tielemans and Oleksandr Zinchenko as they vie for a seat at football’s top table once again.

The Londoners last played in the Champions League in the 2016-17 season – when they reached the Round of 16.

Whelan suggested it is now time for Arteta to “repay the board” by securing a return.

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“This year is a defining year for Arsenal with some of their players, regarding the Champions League,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“This is the best chance they’ve had for a while, with some of the players they have added to that squad and the money they’ve spent.

“It’s now time to repay the board – they’re going to want to see Champions League qualification.

“They’ve given Arteta whatever he wants for a number of years now – and it’s a make or break season for him.

“He’s got to get into that top four this season, or there will be serious questions asked.”

Arsenal will play Europa League football this term and will enter the competition at the group stage.

The Gunners will start their 2022-23 campaign away at Crystal Palace on 5 August.

In other news, Arsenal idol backs “frightening” midfielder swoop amid “massive” claim.