Arsenal have 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.
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.
The Gunners lie 10th in the Premier League table, trailing the top four places by seven points with just 17 games gone. First up for Arteta is a trip to his other former Premier League side Everton, who have also recently sacked manager Marco Silva. Duncan Ferguson is in temporary charge for the game against the Gunners, with Carlo Ancelotti looking likely to take over on a permanent basis.