'We need to get Arsenal back as a Champions League club. That's where this club belongs in my opinion. That has to be the ambition.'
On Thursday, Vinai Venkatesham - Arsenal's new chief executive - highlighted in no uncertain terms what the club's target should be ahead of the new season as they enter a fourth campaign outside of Europe's elite competition.
Arsenal's approach to matters both on and off the field have swung from sensible to the bizarre since their last Champions League appearance, which ended in humiliation with a 10-2 aggregate scoreline against Bayern Munich in 2017.
Vinai Venkatesham (right), Edu (left) and Mikel Arteta form the heart of Arsenal's hierarchy
The club have enacted a restructure following the departure of Raul Sanllehi (furthest left)
Arsene Wenger's departure after a 22-year reign at the club and a hierarchy restructure, which saw Ivan Gazidis bring in transfer guru Sven Mislintat and former head of football Raul Sanllehi from Barcelona, failed to do the trick in terms of sealing an immediate return to the Champions League.
The trio have all since departed themselves, with Sanllehi the last to leave, but Arsenal's quest for a return to Europe's top table remains incomplete after two years, beginning with their end-of-season Premier League collapse in 2018/19 and a Europa League final defeat in Baku.
Following a heavy summer of spending in 2019 - overseen by Sanllehi but which failed to address gaping holes in the playing staff, despite Nicolas Pepe's £72m arrival - Unai Emery's second season began disastrously and his departure, albeit drawn out, was inevitable.
Nevertheless, Mikel Arteta rescued a tepid, underwhelming campaign and as a result has benefited from yet another restructure enacted by Venkatesham, while Invincible Edu - the club's technical director - completes the new-look front-line at the helm.
But they are still yet to qualify for the Champions League since Arsene Wenger's departure
Mikel Arteta raised hopes that can achieved this season after Arsenal won last season's FA Cup
The new Arsenal chief executive also lavished praise on the Spaniard - who will work alongside Edu on incomings and outgoings - on Thursday after confirming his title had changed from head coach to first-team manager.
Venkatesham lauded his impact at London Colney from his first day in charge, not only on the first-team squad but also on matters extending beyond his remit.
However, the football climate often proves uncongenial to such ideas and extra-curricular praise if on-the-field targets are not met, and the challenge still remains as to whether Arteta has the ammunition to fire Arsenal back into the top four.
The Gunners' end to the 2019/20 seasons suggests a top-four push this campaign cannot be wholly disregarded, going on to lift an unprecedented 14th FA Cup as the former Arsenal captain won his first trophy after just eight months in charge.
The Spaniard then won the Community Shield and has a favourable trophy record as manager
But he still has much to do given Manchester United and Chelsea's spending this summer
That morale-boosting feat was then followed by the Community Shield