Former Invincible Ljungberg to take on first-team role as part of Arsenal coaching reshuffle

Former Invincible Ljungberg to take on first-team role as part of Arsenal coaching reshuffle

Freddie Ljungberg is to become Arsenal’s new assistant first-team coach, switching roles with Steve Bould who will take charge of the club’s under-23 team.

Former midfielder Ljungberg steps up from his position with the under-23s to work with head coach Unai Emery.

Arsenal said the changes, which come into effect from July 1, are designed to help “create a ‘transition team’ which will collectively manage a player’s development through some of the hardest and most challenging periods of their professional lives”.

Former Sweden international Ljungberg, 42, was part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side under Arsene Wenger and had also been in charge of the club’s under-16s squad since starting his coaching career.

“I’m really excited by this opportunity to continue helping develop and work with some of the great young players we have coming through in the first-team environment and to work alongside Unai and his coaching team to help Arsenal win trophies,” Ljungberg said on the Arsenal website.

“I’m looking forward to working in this new structure and to pass on my experience and knowledge about what is needed to succeed at this level.”

Bould, meanwhile, is to take up a new role back in the Academy, which he ran for 11 years before becoming Wenger’s assistant manager in 2012 and he stayed on to work alongside Emery last season.

The former Arsenal defender, 56, will also help oversee the under-23s and under-18 ‘phase programme’ with current Arsenal Academy manager Per Mertesacker.

“I have always had a deep commitment to developing young players and am delighted to be back working in an area which is so important to the future of our club,” Bould said. “We have great young players and my job will be to help them maximise their potential.”

Steve Bould had worked alongside Arsene Wenger in the Arsenal dugout (Mike Egerton/PA)
Steve Bould had worked alongside Arsene Wenger in the Arsenal dugout (Mike Egerton/PA)

Arsenal also confirmed first-team goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo would take on additional responsibilities to help lead the transition of the club’s young goalkeepers on into senior football. Loan manager Ben Knapper, meanwhile, will continue in his position to help player development by “identifying and recommending third-party clubs”.

Head of football Raul Sanllehi said: “Identifying, recruiting and developing young players is a key part of our strategy. We have some great talent coming through our younger age groups and, like all top clubs, the challenge is to help them make the most of their abilities.

“The hardest part is always the transition from academy football to senior football. We already have good programmes in place, but these staff changes will ensure our plans are even more robust and clear for every single player.

“I’m confident it will make a significant difference to our ability to bring players through to the first team.”

- Press Association

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