Gareth Southgate has been confirmed as England’s new manager, signing a four-year contract to lead the national team into the 2018 World Cup.

The former coach of the England Under-21 side replaces Sam Allardyce, who left the post last month after just one match in charge. The 46-year-old has performed the role of interim manager, remaining unbeaten in two competitive games and two friendlies in the four matches since Allardyce’s abrupt departure.

Southgate, who was interviewed by the FA’s five-man selection panel at St George’s Park last week, will reportedly earn around £1.5m a year.

His first game will be a friendly against Germany in Dortmund on 22 March before a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley four days later.

Southgate said: “I am extremely proud to be appointed England manager. However, I’m also conscious that getting the job is one thing, now I want to do the job successfully.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the players over these past four games and I think there’s huge potential.

“I’m determined to give everything I have to give the country a team that they’re proud of and one that they’re going to enjoy watching play and develop. For me, the hard work starts now.”

Southgate made 57 appearances for England during an 18-year playing career. He then managed Middlesbrough in the Premier League between 2006 and 2009 before becoming the FA’s head of elite development in January 2011 – a job which led to him taking over the under-21 side in August 2013.

Martin Glenn, the FA’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted to confirm Gareth as England manager. He’s obviously somebody we know well but it’s his understanding of international football and the development set-up at St. George’s Park that is important.

“He performed extremely well during the four games he was in temporary charge and he impressed us during a tough interview process. Gareth is a great ambassador for what The FA stands for, he’s a very good football tactician and a leader but beneath that he’s a winner and that’s an important part of the job.”

The FA are understood to be keen to appoint current assistant Steve Holland on a full-time basis having previously used him on a job-share basis with Chelsea.