London, May 23: Unai Emery, former coach of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), has been appointed as the head coach of Arsenal FC. Unai Emery succeeded Arsene Wenger after 22 years as Arsenal FC manager. 46-year-old Emery won Ligue 1 and four domestic cups in two seasons in Paris before departing earlier this month.
Unai Emery was the “unanimous” choice to “drive the next chapter” of Arsenal’s history after being confirmed as the club’s head coach, chief executive Ivan Gazidis told BBC. The PSG did not have a great season under Emery after which the Frenchman decided to left the club at the end of last season after 22 years in charge.
Announcing the appointment, 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,” he added.
PSG had previously reached four consecutive Champions League quarter-finals following the Qatari takeover of the club in 2011. However, under Emery, PSG witnessed a humiliating defeat to Barcelona in the last 16 a year ago, losing 6-1 at the Camp Nou after a 4-0 win in the first leg.
The club then committed to spending 400 million euros ($483 million) on Neymar and Kylian Mbappe alone — the two most expensive transfer deals in history — last year, but Paris were eliminated in the last 16 again this year, going out to Real Madrid.
Emery previously enjoyed great success on the European stage at Sevilla, where he won three Europa League titles in three full seasons at the Sanchez Pizjuan. Arsenal have been looking for a new coach for the first time in over two decades since Wenger announced last month he was stepping down at the end of the season.