By Joe Shread | SkySports |
Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Unai Emery as their new head coach, replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.
The 46-year-old Spaniard arrives at the club following a two-year spell at PSG. He led the club to a domestic treble this season, but his contract was not extended and was replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Emery told Arsenal’s official website: “I am thrilled to be joining one of the great clubs in the game.
All the latest as Arsenal confirm the appointment of Unai Emery as their new head coach.
“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.
“I have met 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.”
Former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta was believed to be a front-runner for the job, but Sky Sports News understands he withdrew from the running due to concerns over the extent of the role he would have in the club’s transfer policy.
Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the club conducted a “rigorous” recruitment process, with Emery emerging as the unanimous choice.
“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”, said Gazidis.
“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.”
Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke described Emery as a “proven winner”, adding: “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. He’s a proven winner.”
Emery held talks with Arsenal executives in London on Monday, and his personal website appeared to confirm the news on Tuesday night when it posted a graphic with the caption: “Proud to be part of the Arsenal family.”
Despite his domestic success in France, Emery failed to progress beyond the last 16 in the Champions League with PSG, and oversaw their infamous second-round exit to Barcelona in the 2016/17 season.
They won the first leg 4-0 at home, but went on to lose the return leg 6-1 in the Nou Camp after conceding three late goals.
However, Emery does have an outstanding record in the Europa League – a tournament Arsenal will be competing in next season. He won the competition three times in a row during his time at Sevilla.