Freddie Ljungberg is back at Arsenal as coach of the u23s, the club have officially announced, after a brief spell as Assistant Manager at VfL Wolfsburg.
Arsenal announced the return of the fan favourite on their website on Tuesday, writing that he’ll rejoin the club in July as head coach of the youth team. He previously coached the u15s, then worked as an assistant for the u19s, before leaving to take over as assistant manager at Wolfsburg in 2017.
Unfortunately, manager Andries Jonker only lasted six months at the club, and when Wolfsburg sacked him, Ljungberg had to leave too. Their loss is Arsenal’s gain though.
“I’m delighted to be returning to the club,” the 41-year-old told the Arsenal website. “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.”
Thanks to the time-frame of his coaching progression, Ljungberg’s right to point out he already has a connection to the current u23 squad. Many of those making the step up this year will have also played with the u15s a few years ago, when Freddie was in charge.
As an obvious consequence of Ljungberg’s appointment, previous u23 head coach Steve Gatting and his assistant Carl Laraman are no longer in the job. They were already under investigation after complaints of bullying from some players anyway, during which Arsenal suspended both of them.
Both men have now had their profiles deleted from the Arsenal website, which seemingly puts an end to their time at the club.
Hopefully now the u23s can move on and continue their progress on the pitch with Freddie at the helm.