Former Arsenal coach Unai Emery will return to the Premier League in November as the new head coach of Aston Villa, the English club announced on Monday. Emery, who leaves his post at Spanish club Villarreal, takes over from Steven Gerrard who was sacked last week after Villa slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Fulham.
Villa said Emery was a “highly experienced top level coach who has managed over 900 games”. The 50-year-old led Villarreal to Europa League success in 2021, beating Manchester United in the final, before guiding them to the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League last season where they lost to Liverpool. Prior to that he also took Sevilla to three successive Europa League titles between 2013 and 2016, going on to lift Ligue 1 in France with Paris Saint-Germain.
During his spell at Arsenal he lead the Gunners to the 2019 Europa League final where they were humbled 4-1 by Chelsea.
Villa said Emery, who was due to be out of contract with Villarreal at the end of this season, will take over from November 1 after work permit formalities are completed.
It will be Emery’s second Premier League stint after managing Arsenal for 18 months before he was dismissed following a seven-match losing run. Gerrard paid the price for Villa’s wretched start to the season, which sees the club languishing just one place above the Premier League relegation zone. Villa have won only two of their 11 league matches this term and their tame surrender at Craven Cottage proved the final straw for the club’s hierarchy as they axed Gerrard after just 11 months in charge.