The 46-year-old has promised to lead the Gunners to the summit of world football again, and he’ll do well to follow the example of a couple of his compatriots, Rafa Benitez and current league champion Pep Guardiola.
Here’s a look at the Premier League’s Spanish roll call.
Rafael Benitez – Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle
Leading Liverpool to the Champions League title in 2005 remains the pinnacle of the club’s achievements this millennium, for at least a few more days. Repeated a dramatic cup run the next season in the FA Cup, then took over a poor Chelsea side and led them to a Europa League win. To top that, he took over Newcastle in the midst of a doomed relegation battle, brought the Magpies back up as Championship winners, then kept them in the Premier League against all odds.
Pep Guardiola – Manchester City
One utterly dominant season with City – the first side to ever hit 100 points in a Premier League season, winning the league with a record 19-point margin, and adding the League Cup for a domestic double. Still, is it fair to classify him as the best-ever manager from his country only two seasons in? A close call between him and Benitez.
Roberto Martínez – Wigan and Everton
Roberto Martinez’s legacy is the hardest to determine. He led Wigan to a historic FA Cup triumph, but they were relegated the same season – a first-of-its-kind double. At Everton, he took a thrilling young side to fifth in league, but followed that up with a 12th-place finish the next season, earning him the sack.
Juande Ramos – Tottenham
Remains the last manager to have won a trophy with Tottenham, the League Cup in 2008. He wasn’t able to lead Spurs into the top four, but performed well enough to earn a move to Real Madrid soon after.
Quique Sanchez Flores – Watford
His 2015-16 season with Watford was a qualified success. At Christmas, they were just one point behind the Champions League places, and they reached the FA Cup semi-finals. Only the top seven had a better defensive record that season. Ultimately, however, a poor second half of that season led to his sacking.
Javi Gracia – Watford
Brought in last season after Watford were in the midst of an alarming slump under predecessor Marco Silva, Gracia steadied the ship for the Hornets. A memorable win over Chelsea was the highlight of his reign, but he failed to coax more such performances out of his side and was sacked at season’s end.
Aitor Karanka – Middlesbrough
Leading Middlesbrough to the Premier League in 2016 was a highlight, but once they reached the promised land, Karanka’s Teesiders were a dour, negative side and duly went straight back down.
Pepe Mel – West Brom
Seventeen games, three wins. Suffice it to say that with that record, Pepe Mel didn’t last until the end of his 18-month contract, getting sacked in May 2014 after only having joined the club in January.