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  • by Charlie Stong

Arteta named Arsenal head coach

Arsenal have announced that former captain Mikel Arteta will take over as head coach on Sunday.

Arteta, who played for the Gunners for five years between 2011 and 2016, winning two FA Cups and two Community Shields, has signed on a three-and-a-half-year deal which runs until the end of the 2022-23 season.

The Spaniard will take charge following the sacking of Unai Emery last month. Interim head coach Freddie Ljungberg will pick the team against Everton at Goodison Park tomorrow lunchtime.

Arteta, who has been assistant to Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola since 2016, 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.”

His coaching team will be announced in due course.

Josh Kroenke, speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and our 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.”

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 is expected to take charge of the Gunners for the first time in the Premier League game at Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

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