Mikel Arteta Tasked With Champions League Return Following Arsenal Appointment

​Mikel Arteta has been immediately tasked with securing Champions League qualification with Arsenal season after being appointed as their new head coach.

The former Manchester City assistant manager was watching from the stands on Saturday as Freddie Ljungberg oversaw a 0-0 draw with Everton in his final match as interim boss before handing over the reins to the Spaniard.


A draw at Goodison Park means the Gunners are six points adrift of the ​Premier League top four prior to Chelsea’s clash with Tottenham, as ​Arsenal have undergone their worst start to a top-flight season since 1977.

Under Arsene Wenger, the club were regulars in the ​Champions League for 19 consecutive seasons, but are currently playing in the Europa League for the third year in a row.

However, despite been handed a long-term contract until 2023, Arsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi has insisted a return to Europe’s elite club competition is the priority this season.

“There are different degrees of success and we want the highest degree eventually,” he said, via the ​Mirror.

“To get to one point you need to go through phases. Of course we want to be back fighting for all the titles that we can fight for in every season.In the short-term we want to turn this around and our ultimate objective for this season is to qualify for the Champions League because this is the place where we belong.


“We’re a Champions League club. We need to be in the Champions League. And then win the league next season? Eventually. Let’s leave it that way.”

While not directly insisting a top-four finish is required, Sanllehi in turn also opened the door for a potential return to the Champions League via the Europa League. The Gunners reached the final last season, but were beaten 4-1 by Chelsea.

Backing their new man, the Arsenal chief also added that Arteta is excited about the youth prospects at the club, who worked together to secure the Gunners’ first clean sheet in 15 matches on Saturday.

Sanllehi added: “In his analysis of our squad he sees great potential of our youngsters and what we can build going forward.”

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