Arsenal appoint Unai Emery as new head coach
Emery succeeds former manager Arsene Wenger, who spent 22 years at the helm.
Arsenal have announced Unai Emery as the club’s new head coach.
Emery, 46, left Paris St Germain at the end of the season having won the domestic treble and will replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium.
The Spaniard emerged as the shock favourite earlier this week after it had seemed former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta was in line to land the job.
Instead the role has gone to Emery, who won three successive Europa League titles with Sevilla before moving to PSG in 2016.
Wenger departed at the end of the season following a 22-year reign, with the club finishing sixth in the Premier League.
Emery, who will be presented to the media at a press conference later on Wednesday, said: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game.
“Arsenal is known and loved throughout the world for its style of play, its commitment to young players, the fantastic stadium, the way the club is run.
“I’m very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal’s history.”
Emery continued on the club’s official website: “I have met (majority owner) Stan and Josh Kroenke and it’s clear they have great ambitions for the club and are committed to bringing future success.
“I’m excited about what we can do together and I look forward to giving everyone who loves Arsenal some special moments and memories.”
Wednesday’s official announcement came after Emery looked to have confirmed himself as the Arsenal’s new boss late on Tuesday night.
The homepage of Emery’s personal website – www.unai-emery.com – displayed a picture of the Spaniard alongside an Arsenal crest. It carried the message: “Proud to be part of the Arsenal family.”
The image was taken down shortly after 11pm, replaced by an error message.
The website remained inaccessible on Wednesday morning, but following the announcement the profile picture on Emery’s official Twitter page was replaced by an Arsenal club badge.
Current Manchester City assistant Arteta was widely-expected to be given the task of reviving the fortune of the Gunners.
But Emery appears to have impressed the decision-makers at the club.
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis insisted the decision to appoint the former Valencia and Spartak Moscow boss was unanimous.
“Unai has an outstanding track record of success throughout his career, has developed some of the best young talent in Europe and plays an exciting, progressive style of football that fits Arsenal perfectly,” Gazidis said.
“His hard-working and passionate approach and his sense of values on and off the pitch make him the ideal person to take us forward.
“We conducted a confidential, wide-ranging and rigorous search involving extensive background references, data and video analysis, and personal meetings with all the candidates we shortlisted.
“All were interested in the position and we were unanimous in our choice of Unai to drive the next chapter of our history.”
Stan Kroenke hailed Emery as a “proven winner” and was equally impressed during the interview process.
“We’re confident that he is the right person for the job and that he will work to deliver the triumphs our fans, staff and everyone who cares about Arsenal want,” the American said.
“Several things stood out during his interview and the entire process: his football knowledge, energy, determination and love of the game.
“His familiarity with our club and our players, the Premier League and the game in Europe were all very impressive. He shares our vision to move forward, to build on the platform created by Arsene Wenger and help this club enjoy greater success.”
The club are yet to confirm if Emery will bring in any of his own backroom staff, although Juan Carlos Carcedo, Pablo Villanueva, Julen Masach and Victor Manas have all reportedly been lined up for roles.