Aston Villa have appointed Unai Emery as their new manager following the sacking of Steven Gerrard, as confirmed by the club.
Mauricio Pochettino, Ruben Amorim and Thomas Frank were considered for the role, but Villa went with Emery.
They have paid €6 million to release the Spaniard from his contract at Villarreal.
The former Arsenal boss will take over at Villa Park from November 1 after completing his work permit formalities.
Interim manager Aaron Danks, who led the team to a 4-0 victory over Brentford, will remain in charge until then.
Emery’s appointment has raised several eyebrows owing to his failed stint in the Premier League at Arsenal.
He was also the leading candidate to become the manager of Newcastle United following the takeover of Saudi-led consortium PIF last year, but he turned down the opportunity.
However, the Villans are getting a high-profile manager with a successful career compared to the club’s predecessors.
A forgettable spell at Arsenal
Emery took the spotlight after becoming the manager of Arsenal in 2018, replacing the legendary Arsene Wenger.
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss led the Gunners to an impressive 22-match unbeaten streak in his debut season before spiralling down in the latter stages, which saw the north Londoners miss out on the Champions League qualification.
He endured more struggles the following season, with the performances ceasing to improve. He was relieved of his duties in November.
Resurrection at Villarreal
Emery returned to his homeland in 2020 to take over at Villarreal. He silenced his critics by inspiring the Yellow Submarine to the Europa League triumph for the 2020/21 season.
The irony was Emery defeated the Gunners in the semi-finals before seeing off Manchester United in the finals.
The Spaniard Villarreal to unprecedented success the following season after reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, recording famous victories against Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Can he be successful in his second stint in the Premier League?
Villa are in dire straits as they are 15th in the table with 12 points. Emery has a massive task on his hands to steady the ship.
But he has shown he is capable of doing so during his time with Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal.
Unlike Gerrard, Emery is tactically strong and flexible. He emphasises defence and attack equally.
The 50-year-old will inherit a talented squad at Villa Park, and the club will be keen to see a quick improvement.
- Who is Liverpool’s most important player – Van Dijk or Salah?
- Postecoglou confirms huge injury blow for Tottenham ahead of Crystal Palace clash
- FA Cup quarter-final TV picks confirmed, ITV will show headline fixture between Man Utd and Liverpool
- Preview: Man City vs Man United – stats, team news, line-ups
- Crystal Palace shareholder John Textor slams Premier League financial rules
- Conor Gallagher determined to stay at Chelsea despite contract stand-off and Tottenham interest
- Eric Dier makes permanent switch to Bayern Munich from Tottenham
- Premier League manager of the month nominees for February revealed
- Paul Pogba receives four-year ban for doping
- Man United fans in uproar as Old Trafford relocation plans spark outrage