Mikel Arteta has been appointed the new head coach of Arsenal Football Club.
Welcome back, Mikel! 👋
Head coach of The Arsenal 👔 pic.twitter.com/lhsAfQ7cfq
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 20, 2019
Mikel, a former club captain, played for the Gunners for five seasons from 2011 to 2016 and has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.
Mikel 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.”
Mikel’s coaching team will be announced as soon as possible.
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.”