Have Danish minnows just given Arsenal a boost in pursuit of £8.5m man?

St Etienne

Esbjerg fB defeated St Etienne in the Europa League on Thursday. Does that mean Josuha Guilavogui could be on his way to The Emirates?

Last season Ligue 1, French footballs top flight competition, was wide open in terms of qualification for Europe.

When the dust had settled on the championship, just four points separated the team in sixth from the team in third - but the difference in terms of European competition was vast.

Lyon in third qualified for the Champions League, while Lille in sixth ended up missing out on Europe altogether - wedged in between were Nice and St Etienne - the two surprise packages of the season.

For a long time however it appeared that Les Verts in particular would finish in a Champions League spot - fired by the performances of star player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The importance of finishing in third was made palpable when the Gabonese international left - he stated he could have stayed with the club should they have made it into the Champions League. The Europa League however was not for him, and he moved to last season’s Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

But the club had the caveat of qualifying for the Europa League, by virtue of their fifth placed finish.

And that meant some of the teams other players were convinced to stay, with European competition still a lure for any player.

But on Thursday that dream came to an end - at the hands of a side never expected to beat the Ligue 1 outfit.

Danish minnows Esbjerg fB finished fourth in the Danish Superliga last term and have limited experience in European football.

But last night they dumped St Etienne out of the Europa League before the Group Stages - with a 1-0 victory at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.

An own goal from Moustapha Bayal Sall added to the 4-3 defeat in Denmark - which saw them go through 5-3 on aggregate, leaving egg on the face of manager Christophe Galtier and his players.

So with the most successful club in domestic French history out of Europe - what now for their star players?

Well surely it is no coincidence that the day afterwards it is reported Arsenal have made a big for reported target Josuha Guilavogui.

The same day as Esbjerg splashed the cash on Norwegian international Mohammad Fellah, the team they conquered appear to be considering a bid of £8.5 million for one of their star men, at least according to French mag Le10 Sport.

After a disaster in Europe, it appears that Arsenal really could finally sign a player this summer - galvanising the misfortune of St Etienne.

Can Arsenal utilise the failures of St Etienne to bring in Guilavogui?

image: © manuel | MC

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch