Arsenal centre-back Rob Holding claims Arsenal and Chelsea are on the same level despite Chelsea winning the Champions League last season.
Speaking ahead of the Gunners’ pre-season friendly clash with the Blues on Sunday, the defender told The Guardian: ‘”I see Chelsea as a competitive rival for us.
“I don’t see them as a team we aspire to be like, and I don’t think they see us that way either. There’s a mutual respect between us and a recent history with FA Cup finals and playing each other in big games.
“I don’t think that, because they won the Champions League, we need to be more like Chelsea. Our results and league position need to improve, of course, but when we play each other it’s competitive.
“We’ve got to be aiming to get back in the Champions League. With no Europe this season we’ve got no distractions or fixture congestion and can really focus on our Premier League games.
“I think Liverpool did the same a few years ago, and Chelsea similarly when they won the league in Antonio Conte’s first year. So it can be a blessing in disguise in some aspects.
“We’ve just got to think of it that way and hit the ground running.”