Villarreal confirm appointment of former Arsenal boss Unai Emery

Villarreal have confirmed the appointment of former Arsenal boss Unai Emery to replace coach Javi Calleja, who left the club earlier this week.

The 48-year-old has penned a three-year contract at the Estadio Ceramica and will manage the club in the Europa League next season.

Emery was sacked from his position in North London last November following a prolonged run of bad form, despite taking the Gunners to last season’s Europa League final.

The Spanish boss has accumulated ten trophies in five years and has played in six European finals and he has coached in more than 600 games across La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League.

Emery came to prominence in Spanish football at lower leagues side Lorca and Almeria, whom he guided to La Liga before earning a move to Valencia.

He spent four years in charge at the Mestalla before moving to Spartak Moscow in 2012, but it was at Sevilla – where he was appointed the following year – that he gained true prominence.

Emery guided the Andalusian club to three successive Europa League titles before being appointed at Paris Saint-Germain, where he won seven domestic trophies in two seasons but failed to replicate his success in Europe.

He was then appointed at Arsenal in 2018, but despite initial strong form at the Gunners a run of poor results at the tail-end of last season and the start of the 2019/20 campaign saw him sacked.

The departure of Calleja may come as somewhat of a surprise after a strong run of form from the club to end the season in fifth place and qualify for next season’s Europa League.

Calleja was dismissed by the club in December 2018 but returned to the club exactly 50 days later following an underwhelming stint by his successor Luis Garcia.

During his playing days, Calleja played in the first team of Villarreal across a seven-year stint, including helping the club reach the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2006.

He managed the club for a total of 131 matches across both of his stints at the helm in which he won 57, drew 30 and loss 44 matches.

Tags Arsenal Unai Emery