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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 9 December 2018

Unai Emery's target: to make Arsenal Premier League title challengers once more

The 46-year-old Spaniard signed a three-year deal on Wednesday to replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium

The crest of English Premier League side Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. Andy Rain / EPA
The crest of English Premier League side Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London. Andy Rain / EPA

Unai Emery wasted no time in targeting Premier League success following his appointment as Arsenal's new manager.

The 46-year-old Spaniard signed a three-year deal on Wednesday to replace Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium as the club looks to the future with a new structure and a fresh face as the figurehead.

Wenger left the club at the end of the season following 22 years in charge with Emery now tasked with improving on a sixth-placed Premier League finish last season.

The former Paris Saint-Germain manager spoke in English at his unveiling as he targeted a return to Premier League glory.

"Thank you, Arsene Wenger, for your legacy. For all the coaches over the world, he's a reference and I learned from him all the things in football," he said.

"I believe in the players who are here. The objective is to work together, to work hard with this talent. The target is to be a candidate and to challenge for the title.

"It is very important for the club after two years outside the Champions League to work this way, to be the best club, the best team in the Premier League and also in the world."

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The former Valencia and Spartak Moscow manager, who won three successive Europa League titles at Sevilla before moving to Paris, was handed a three-year deal as Wenger's replacement.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis revealed everyone interviewed for the role was keen to take on the challenge of what he deemed to be the "most attractive" job within the game.

"We believe there is not a position in world football that is more attractive than Arsenal Football Club," he said.

"Having gone through that process and series of references, and a good deal of analysis, we created a long list, an eight-person list.

"All of those eight people that we approached, that we targeted, were interested in the position and all of those eight people took part in an extensive, in-person interviews with us and none of them at any stage withdrew their interest."

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who joined the Gunners in January from Manchester United, wants to see a new approach from Emery in the coming months.

"I still haven't had an opportunity to meet him," he told VivaroNews Sport.

"We didn't have time to talk with each other. I hope he will bring new tactical ideas and spirit to Arsenal, and I hope he will succeed.

"I haven't talked to my team-mates about him. I would like to meet him.

"Everyone at the club is a professional. Everyone knows what he should do and what he is expected to do."