OFFICIAL: Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg seals return as U23 coach

Freddie Ljungberg has returned to Arsenal to take over the club’s Under 23 side as Unai Emery’s new era gets underway.

Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal between 1998 and 2007, has rejoined the Gunners following his previous stints as a player and a coach.

The Swede coached Arsenal’s Under 15s and was assistant to the Under 19 UEFA Youth League team during the 2016-17 season before taking up a No 2 role at Wolfsburg.

However, he is now happy to be back in north London having been trusted by Emery and new academy manager Per Mertesacker to bring through Arsenal’s new wave of young talent.

‘I’m delighted to be returning to the club,’ said Ljungberg. ‘Arsenal has always been a special place for me and I’m really excited at this opportunity to work with our Under 23 team.

‘I look forward to working with the talented young players we have at the club. I know many of them well and will work hard to help them continue developing and become the best players and people they can be.’

Mertesacker, who retired at the end of last season to take up his new role as academy manager, said of the appointment: ‘It’s great to have Freddie back at the club. He brings great footballing experience and the highest possible levels of enthusiasm, energy and encouragement for our young professionals.

‘He understands the club’s values and how important it is to give young players the opportunity to grow and develop. When Freddie left for Wolfsburg it was with the club’s blessing and with a return to Arsenal some day in mind. Everyone knows Freddie loves the club and we look forward to him developing his career with us.’

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