Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Mikel Arteta as their new manager on a three-and-a-half year deal.
The former Gunners star takes over from Freddie Ljungberg who had been in temporary charge following the sacking of Unai Emery in November.
In a statement on the club’s website, expressed his joy at being given the opportunity to manage his former club.
“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.
“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.”
Welcome back, Mikel! 👋— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 20, 2019
Head coach of The Arsenal 👔 pic.twitter.com/lhsAfQ7cfq
Arteta, who played for the Gunners between 2011 and 2016, takes charge of the team in his first managerial role after three years working under Pep Guardiola for Premier League champions Manchester City.
Despite his lack of experience, Arteta is highly thought of and had previously been a candidate for the Emirates top job back in 2018, but lost out to Emery at the interview stage.
63% - Mikel Arteta ended on the winning side in 63% of his appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League. Only four players in the club's history have a higher win percentage in the competition (min. 100 apps - Lauren, Cole, Overmars and Campbell). Pedigree. pic.twitter.com/roRFdAvwDs— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 20, 2019
The Spaniard takes over a side struggling for form, sitting 10th in the Premier League having won just five of their 17 games.
Arsenal have also won just one of their last 12 matches in all competitions and in their most recent outing, suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, for whom Arteta was of course in the dugout.
The announcement comes ahead of Arsenal’s trip to another of Arteta’s former clubs Everton, but the former midfielder is expected to watch from the stands before taking charge of his first match on Boxing Day at Bournemouth.
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