Arsenal have placed their trust in Mikel Arteta and handed the Spaniard more power by promoting him to first-team manager as he continues to impress at the Premier League club.
Arteta was appointed head coach in December after replacing Unai Emery and the former Arsenal midfielder has already led the Gunners to FA Cup and Community Shield success, while securing Europa League qualification.
Star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also set to re-sign at Emirates Stadium following initial doubts over his future, highlighting Arteta’s impact behind the scenes in London.
Now, Arteta has been rewarded with a change in job title heading into the 2020-21 season – the 38-year-old and Edu will be in charge of all aspects of Arsenal men’s first team, including analysis, scouting and recruitment.
“Mikel’s been here since the end of December and the last nine months have probably been the most challenging nine months in Arsenal’s history – and we’ve been around for 134 years. Despite all of those challenges, Mikel has been driving this football club forward,” chief executive Vinai Venkatesham told Arsenal Digital.
“He has lifted the spirits and lifted the energy here at London Colney and with Arsenal fans all across the world. He is doing an absolutely phenomenal job.
“The other thing that’s clear is that right from the day he walked through the door, he was doing much more than being our head coach. So we’re going to be changing his job title going forward. He’ll move from head coach to be the first-team manager. That’s recognition of what he’s been doing from the day he walked in the door, but also where we see his capabilities.
“He is doing a great job of coaching the first team and that’s his primary responsibility, but there is so much more that he can bring and that’s why we’re making this change, in recognition of his capabilities and also the job that he’s doing already.
“So in terms of how that will work, going forward Mikel will join a really strong team with Edu and they’ll be working really, really closely together to manage all the other elements of our football operations that are so important, whether that is analysis, recruitment, high performance or medical, they’ll be looking after those areas together.
And they’ll also together be responsible for our technical recommendations, whether that’s players that we’re going to buy, whether that’s players that we’re going to sell, whether that’s players that we’re going to loan.
“Of course, working closely with me and the board and working closely with the owners on the financial elements to make final decisions. But those are going to be their responsibilities and I think we’re going to have a really dynamic team to drive this club forward.”
Arsenal will open their Premier League campaign at newly promoted Fulham on Saturday.