Unai Emery paid tribute to the legacy left by Arsene Wenger as he set out his vision for the “big challenge” after taking over as head coach at Arsenal.
Unai, 46, previously spent three seasons with Sevilla, leading them to an unprecedented three consecutive Europa League titles.
He left Paris St Germain at the end of the season having won the domestic treble and will replace Wenger at the Emirates Stadium following the end of the Frenchman’s 22-year reign.
Unai emerged as the shock favourite earlier this week after it had seemed former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta was in line to land the job.
Announcing the appointment, chief executive Arsenal Football Club Ivan Gazidis said: “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. 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.”
Majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “We’re delighted to welcome Unai to Arsenal. He’s a proven winner. 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.
“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 Arsène Wenger and help this club enjoy greater success.”
“I’m very excited to be given the responsibility to start this important new chapter in Arsenal’s history,” said Unai
“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, and 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.”
Unai started his coaching career at Lorca Deportiva in 2005 after playing mostly in the Spanish second division. He went on to coach Almeria, Valencia and Spartak Moscow before joining Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain.
The appointment is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.