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UNAI EMERY has told Arsenal fans to “have patience” with Mikel Arteta, as he prepares to face his former side in the Europa League semi-finals.

The current Villarreal boss told reporters he rang Arteta to offer his London home when the Spaniard was appointed as his successor, and called the 39-year-old a “phenomenal coach”. 

Emery was sacked in November 2019 after 18 months in charge of the Gunners.

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Arsenal currently sit 10th in the Premier League table, seven points off a European place, with many fans and pundits seeing Europa League success as the only way for Arteta to keep his job at the end of the season.

“This is a process that needs time,” said Emery, who won the Europa League three times as manager of Sevilla and reached the final with Arsenal in 2019.

“At Arsenal it is very difficult, but we need to let managers work. We need to trust Arteta and with time they [Arsenal] will find their natural place. Where they deserve to be fighting for Champions League places.”

Thousands of Arsenal fans gathered outside the Emirates Stadium last week to protest against current owner Stan Kroenke. The American released a statement yesterday explaining that the club was “not for sale”, despite Spotify owner Daniel Elk claiming he had a “very serious” interest in buying the club.

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Arteta hopes this statement from Kroenke “closes all speculation” on the issue:

“I spoke to them [the owners] yesterday and I think it’s very clear.

“They showed their commitment to the football club and their ambition to have a successful team on the pitch. I think it took any doubts out of the situation.”

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