Arsenal appoint Arteta as new boss
PUBLISHED: 14:20 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 20 December 2019
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Arsenal have confirmed Mikel Arteta as their new boss, replacing Unai Emery.
The former Gunners midfielder and Manchester City assistant has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at the Emirates.
Arteta said: "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."
Josh Kroenke, speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, 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."
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Head of football Raul Sanllehi said: "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."
Arteta joined Arsenal from Everton in 2011, going on to make 150 appearances, winning two FA Cups and captaining the club before retiring in 2016.
The 37-year-old then joined Manchester City and was named as Pep Guardiola's assistant, helping guide the club to five major trophies.
The Spaniard was massively popular with the City squad, including Raheem Sterling who put his progression in recent seasons down to Arteta's impact.
Arteta had been close to taking the Arsenal job in May 2018 following the departure of Arsene Wenger, but a U-turn from the club's hierarchy saw Emery appointed at the eleventh hour.
The Gunners had concerns over his experience last year, but he is now seen as the perfect man to take charge, with his knowledge of the club and the Premier League key in their decision.
Arteta is also considered as one of the top up and coming coaches in the world, with Arsenal keen to build a long-term project under him stewardship.