Ljungberg leaves Arsenal to pursue managerial ambitions

Ljungberg returned to Arsenal as a coach in June 2018

Ljungberg returned to Arsenal as a coach in June 2018

FREDDIE LJUNGBERG is stepping down as Arsenal assistant to pursue his ambitions as a manager.

The Swede, who was a member of the Arsenal Invincibles team as a player, returned in June 2018 to manage the Gunners’ Under-23 side. Last summer he swapped roles with Steve Bould to become assistant with Mikel Arteta’s first team.

He said: "I have decided to leave my first-team assistant coaching role at Arsenal to progress my management experience. I have been involved with this club on and off since 1998 and am grateful for all the opportunities they have given me both as a player and as a coach.

"I wish Mikel and all the team every success for the season ahead. Thanks also to the fans for their constant support and for always being by my side. I hope we will all meet again soon."

Technical director Edu added: "We're really sad to see Freddie leave as we know how much he loves Arsenal. However, we know he has had various opportunities over the last 12 months and stuck to the job at Arsenal. Now he has the opportunity to consider other options, and it makes sense for his career at this time.

"Freddie has made a huge contribution in his coaching role, most importantly when he led the team during that difficult period between Unai's departure and Mikel's appointment. We will forever be grateful for what he did then and what he's done since but fully recognise his desire to move on and be a head coach himself."

One of Ljungberg’s key objectives was to smooth the transition from the Academy to first team for the club’s best young players. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Reiss Nelson, Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock all made their mark this season.

Saka said: "Freddie has given us all so much valuable advice and support. He's a fantastic coach and someone we all look up to. I'm just so grateful that I’ve been able to work alongside and learn directly from someone like him at this early part of my career."

Arteta said: "Freddie has been a really important member of my team since my arrival. He did a great job picking the team up when Unai left and we all have 100% respect for him as a man and a coach. I know I'll be facing him on the touchline in the future."

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