Arsene Wenger has confirmed that should a coaching role become available, Freddie Ljungberg has promised he will return to the club.
This latest development comes after the 39-year-old followed Academy boss, Andries Jonker, to VfL Wolfsburg, becoming their assistant manager. The Swede, formerly a winger during his playing days, spent nine years at Arsenal and achieved legendary status.
Ljungberg’s return a sign of more to come?
Having retired from the professional game in 2012, he returned to Arsenal in two capacities: first in an ambassadorial role before coaching last year. Ljungberg helped coach Arsenal u15s and was regularly spotted attending UEFA Youth League fixtures too. Shortly before departing, he spoke about his absolute joy at being able to coach the Arsenal kids.
The worry with Arsenal’s legends, those who have recently retired, is that they will pursue other interests or go elsewhere to develop as coaches. Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry are players from the Invincibles who have already departed, furthering their coaching careers elsewhere for a variety of reasons.
Despite this though, Wenger clarified the situation regarding Freddie on the club’s website, “Freddie has done extremely well with the under-15s here, I was in touch with him constantly during his experience there,” Wenger said.
“We gave him permission to go [to Wolfsburg], but with a promise that he will come back if there’s a possibility to come back here. Overall, I think it is part of his education to become a coach, to have this kind of experience.
“Hopefully we can use that later at Arsenal.”
Ljungberg will be aiming to learn and gain experience with a Wolfsburg side desperate to salvage their Bundesliga season. They currently sit in 14th place, just two points above the relegation places after 22 league matches.