Wolfsburg have confirmed the appointed of Andries Jonker from Arsenal as the successor to Valerien Ismael. The French coach was dismissed after a fifth defeat in sixth games left the club perilously close to the Bundesliga relegation zone, and have turned to a familiar face to drag them away from danger.
Jonker worked as assistant manager with The Wolves between 2012 and 2014 under Dieter Hecking, with the club reaching the semi-finals of the German Cup. He was soon enlisted to become the head of the Gunners academy, and upon his appointment vowed to honour the club's rich traditions and help bring through the next Jack Wilshere.
During his spell at the helm the likes of Alex Iwobi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Chris Willock have made their first team debuts with Arsenal, a production line which shows few signs of slowing. But amid uncertainty over the future of Arsene Wenger beyond the end of the season, Jonker has opted to returned to full-time management with his former side.
"Andries Jonker knows VfL Wolfsburg well and maintained regular contact with the club even after his move to London," Sporting director Olaf Rebbe told the club's official website. "Both factors were vital in us achieving this top solution so quickly. He is an internationally experienced coach and an expert tactician, who provides the best possible requirements to get VfL back on track quickly and sustainably."
The Dutchman, who has also previously worked under Louis van Gaal at Bayern Munich, has wasted little time adding to his backroom team after enlisting another Arsenal coach in the form of ex-midfielder Freddie Ljungberg. The Swede has only been in charge of the club's Under-15 side for seven months under Jonker's stewardship, but has impressed sufficiently in order to be offered the role of assistant manager.
Along with the Arsenal pair, Uwe Speidel will also operate alongside Jonker. The duo worked together at Bayern, with the German taking charge of the club's reserves. Wolfsburg's attempts to reach 40 points for the season – a tally consider good enough to survive relegation – starts against Mainz o5 on Saturday (4 March).