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English club Arsenal have officially announced that Mikel Arteta is joining the club as the head coach on Sunday.

The former Arsenal captain who is replacing Unai Emery has signed a three-and-a-half-year contract.

Arteta played for Arsenal for five seasons from 2011 to 2016 and he would be hoping he can turn the fortunes of the Gunners around after a poor run of form which seems temporarily halted under the interim manager Freddie Ljungberg.

Arteta 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.

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“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.”

Arteta’s coaching team will be announced as soon as possible.

Josh Kroenke, speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board, 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.”

Arsenal are presently 10th on the EPL table; seven points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea.

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