Technical observers make their choice, ignoring the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere
NOT one Arsenal player has made the Europa League squad of the season.
And that despite the Gunners scoring more goals and winning more matches than anyone else on their march towards the semi-finals.
UEFA’s technical observers selected 18 players to the dismay of Arsenal fans who obviously think their team should have fared better.
Forget the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere… they didn’t get a look in.
Even though Arsenal won four of their six group games with 14 goals along the way before knocking out European debutants Ostersund with a 4-2 aggregate victory in the round of 32.
Arsene Wenger’s team then won both legs against AC Milan – 2-0 in Italy and 3-1 in London before beating CSKA Moscow 6-3 over the two legs.
Finally they lost 2-1 on aggregate to eventual winners Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.
But instead of choosing even one Arsenal man the UEFA panel went for these players…
Jan Oblak (Atletico)
Technical Observers say: The competition’s outstanding keeper, he performed when his team needed him most.
Rui Patrício (Sporting Lisbon)
Technical Observers say: An important player for his team.
Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan)
Technical Observers say: Milan’s skipper and talisman is happy defending and comfortable in possession of the ball.
Diego Godin (Atletico)
Technical Observers say: The winners’ defensive leader was impressive in his reading of the game, tackling and aerial ability.
Stefan Lainer (Salzburg)
Technical Observers say: The right-back provided five assists and was a key player in his team’s run to the semi-finals.
WHO ARE THE UEFA TECHNICAL OBSERVERS?
Jerzy Engel (Poland)
Stefan Majewski (Poland)
Ghenadie Scurtul (Romania)
Milenko Ačimovič (Slovenia)
Mixu Paatelainen (Finland)
Thomas Schaaf (Germany)
Luiz Gustavo (Marseille)
Technical Observers say: The converted defensive midfielder’s performances at the heart of Marseille’s defence were important on their road to Lyon.
Bouna Sarr (Marseille)
Technical Observers say: Displayed great energy and positivity. Looked dangerous in the final in particular. An impressive Europa League season for the former winger.
Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon)
Technical Observers say: Exciting midfielder whose goal against Astana was one of the best of the season. Scored three and contributed four assists in all.
Naby Keita (Leipzig)
Technical Observers say: Box-to-box midfielder who impressed in five appearances in the competition and is important to his team.
Technical Observers say: Sets Atletico’s tempo with the ball and is one of the team’s chief organisers without it. Goal and assist in the final.
Saul Níguez (Atletico)
Technical Observers say: Provides technical quality, a goal threat and additional physicality as part of Atlético’s midfield trio with Koke and Gabi.
Technical Observers say: The third of Atletico’s key midfielders. Often deployed to the left of Koke and Saúl in a midfield four but provides additional workrate and quality wherever he plays.
Diadie Samassekou (Salzburg)
Technical Observers say: Outstanding young midfielder in a team of promising players.
Gelson Martins (Sporting Lisbon)
Technical Observers say: Bright young player with a promising future. Impressed the observers.
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Antoine Griezmann (Atletico)
Technical Observers say: Made the difference in the final and brings incredible intensity and composed finishing whenever he plays.
Ciro Immobile (Lazio)
Technical Observers say: The competition’s top scorer and a key player in Lazio’s run to the quarter-finals.
Dimitri Payet (Marseille)
Technical Observers say: No10 whose quality was evident throughout, creating chances, scoring brilliant goals against Leipzig and Athletic and providing top-class set-piece delivery.
Timo Werner (Leipzig)
Technical Observers say: Four goals in five games for the German international who is always a danger.