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Mikel Arteta appointed new Arsenal head coach

The Gunners welcome back their former captain on a three-and-a-half-year deal

20 December, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Mikel Arteta

MIKEL Arteta arrived back at Arsenal declaring that “there is a lot of work to be done”, but says he “is confident” that he can lead the club back to glory.

The Gunners appointed their former captain as head coach on a three-and-a-half-year deal – although the 37-year-old won’t replace interim boss Freddie Ljungberg until after Saturday’s Premier League trip to Everton.

Arteta, who had been working as assistant coach under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, revealed the clear message he was given from the Arsenal board after agreeing his first ever managerial job.

He 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 (club owner) Stan Kroenke 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.”

Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi said the Premier League club met “several top-class candidates” before choosing Arteta to replace Unai Emery, who was sacked in November.

“Mikel stood out to every single one of us as the perfect person for us,” he 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.”

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