Arsenal has appointed Mikel Arteta as their new head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Arteta leaves his role as Manchester City assistant manager and replaces Freddie Ljungberg, who took over as interim head coach following Unai Emery’s sacking at the end of November.
“This is a huge honour,” said Arteta, whose coaching team has yet to be announced. “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 (club owner) Stan and (director) 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.”
Ljungberg oversaw two draws, two defeats and one victory during his time in temporary charge, and departs his role with Arsenal 10th in the Premier League table.
Arteta returns to the club for whom he played 150 games between 2011 and 2016, winning two FA Cups and two Community Shields in the process.
City and Pep Guardiola were intent on Arteta remaining at the Etihad Stadium, but the offer from the Gunners proved too enticing for their former midfielder to turn down.
The domestic treble winners were angered by Arsenal’s approach for the Spaniard after pictures emerged of Gunners chief executive Vinai Venkatesham and lawyer Huss Fahmy leaving his Manchester home in the early hours of Monday morning.
“We met several top-class candidates and Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us,” Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi said.
“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.”