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Ronald Koeman is desperate to see Southampton qualify for Europe

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is desperate for Arsenal to win the FA Cup final on Saturday so his side can qualify for next season’s Europa League.

The Dutchman defied pre-season predictions that the Saints would struggle after the departures of a host of key players by leading his team to a seventh-placed Premier League finish in his first season in charge at St Mary's.

That means Southampton can join Tottenham, Liverpool and Fair Play winners West Ham in the Europa League next season if Arsenal successfully defend their FA Cup crown against Aston Villa at Wembley this weekend.

The Premier League’s final Europa League spot goes to the winner of the FA Cup and as Arsenal are already competing in the Champions League, a victory for them would result in the place being allocated to the next-highest finishing team in the league.

Koeman is desperate to see Southampton grace the European stage next season and has no concerns about the effects regular Thursday-night football could have on his squad during the season.

“I hope Arsenal will win the FA Cup next week because we may get a chance to play Europa League football next season,” Koeman told Sky Sports.

“It is important for the club, it is important for the players and it is a good experience for all the people in the club. It will be a nice challenge we hope but we have to wait.

“I am not a person that always thinks negatively. I am thinking positively about it because it will be good for the club. It would be good to put Southampton the club in Europe.

“I’m very happy. We had a difficult start in the pre-season and we did a great job – both the players and the staff. Overall I am very proud of what we did this season.”

Southampton lost many key players last summer as Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Calum Chambers all left the club.

History could be set to repeat itself with bets already being placed that the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Nathaniel Clyne could leave for pastures new, but Koeman is not concerned about the speculation.

The Saints boss said: “That is normal. We are not the biggest club in the Premier League.

“We have some good players and there is always interest in those players but we haven’t had a serious bid from any club so we’ll see what happens.”


Headlines for Southampton this week

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  • Regional Rumours in the Press: Chelsea target trio


  • Chelsea want Atletico ace Antoine Griezmann, Juve's Paul Pogba and Real Madrid star Rafael Varane, while Nathaniel Clyne could snub Man United.

  • Ronald Koeman is desperate to see Southampton qualify for Europe


  • Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is desperate for Arsenal to win the FA Cup final on Saturday so his side can qualify for next season’s Europa League.

  • Morgan Schneiderlin sets sights on Champions League


  • Morgan Schneiderlin has told French radio that he will only leave Southampton for Champions League football.

  • Artur Boruc signs for Bournemouth on permanent deal


  • Bournemouth have signed Artur Boruc on a permanent deal following his release by Southampton.

  • Rumours in the Press: Falcao wants Blues move


  • Radamel Falcao is willing to take a pay cut in a desperate bid to join Chelsea and Morgan Schneiderlin is not keen on moving to Tottenham.

  • Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld wants future resolved


  • On-loan Southampton defender Toby Alderweireld is hoping his future gets resolved quickly and is open to remaining at St Mary’s next season.

  • Southampton boss Ronald Koeman 'not afraid' of added expectation


  • Ronald Koeman is relishing the challenge that awaits next year after his debut Premier League season ended with a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.

  • Man City 2-0 Southampton: Frank Lampard scores on his last Premier League appearance


  • Frank Lampard scored on his last Premier League appearance as Manchester City beat Southampton 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

  • Rumours in the Press: Saints expect Schneiderlin exit


  • Southampton are already preparing for the probable departure of Morgan Schneiderlin, while Manchester City are set to bid for Raheem Sterling.

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