Arsenal appoint Mikel Arteta as new head coach

The former Gunners captain has joined from Manchester City, where he was serving as Pep Guardiola’s assistant, and signed a contract until 2023

Arsenal have appointed Mikel Arteta as the club’s new head coach.

The 37-year-old has signed a contract until 2023 and will be unveiled at a press conference at Emirates Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Arteta spent five years with the Gunners as a player between 2011 and 2016, winning two FA Cups before retiring and making the move into coaching.

He arrives at Arsenal from Manchester City, where he has worked as Pep Guardiola’s assistant for the past three years.

“This is a huge honour. Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to be competing for the top trophies in the game and that’s been made very clear to me in my discussions with Stan and Josh Kroenke, and the senior people from the club,” Arteta told the club’s official website.

“We all know there is a lot of work to be done to achieve that but I am confident we’ll do it. I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen overnight but the current squad has plenty of talent and there is a great pipeline of young players coming through from the academy.”

The Spaniard replaces Unai Emery at the Emirates, who was sacked three weeks ago following the club’s worst run of form for 27 years.

Arteta will travel up to Liverpool later this evening to join up with the Arsenal squad ahead of Saturday’s game against Everton at Goodison Park.

He will watch the match from the stands, with Freddie Ljungberg – who has been filling in as interim boss since Emery was dismissed – in charge for the final time.

Speaking about the appointment, Gunners director Josh Kroenke said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Mikel back to Arsenal. He knows our expectations and those of our fans around the world are high and we are confident he can play a lead role in taking the club back to the levels we all demand.

“I also want to thank Freddie Ljungberg for skilfully guiding us through the last three weeks. He stepped up at short notice and has helped us through this difficult period with great professionalism.”

Head of football Raul Sanllehi added: “We met several top-class candidates and Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us.

“Mikel understands Arsenal Football Club and what it means to our fans around the world. We look forward to him getting down to work and bringing the best out of our squad as we work to get our season back on track.

“I must also pay tribute to Freddie Ljungberg for his hard work and leadership. Together with Per Mertesacker, he has done a vital job for us in difficult circumstances. Freddie and Per are important parts of the Arsenal family and care deeply for this club.”

The appointment ends a turbulent few weeks for Arsenal, who have won just one game under Ljungberg, and the hierarchy will hope Arteta’s arrival will halt a slide which has seen them fall just seven points above the relegation zone.

Arsenal currently sit 10th in the Premier League ahead of Saturday’s trip to Everton.

The Gunners have won just one of their last 12 games in all competitions and haven’t kept a clean sheet on their travels since the opening weekend of the season at Newcastle.


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