Arsenal announce departure of Freddie Ljungberg as assistant coach and former Gunner pursues ‘new opportunities’

Arsenal assistant coach Freddie Ljungberg is leaving the Premier League club to pursue fresh opportunities as a manager.

The north London side announced the news on Saturday afternoon.

Ljungberg, who represented the Gunners on the pitch between 1998 and 2007, joined Unai Emery’s coaching team at the Emirates Stadium last summer before briefly taking charge of the team after the Spaniard was sacked as head coach in December.

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In his six games as interim manager, the 43-year-old oversaw one win, three draws and two defeats. He then assumed a role as assistant coach when Mikel Arteta – another former Gunner – was appointed as manager.

Ljungberg previously worked as an academy coach at Arsenal, leading both the under-15 side and U23 squad at different points.

In a statement released on Saturday, Arsenal said the Swede was leaving his role to “pursue new opportunities”.

Ljungberg added: “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.”

There was plenty of praise for Ljungberg following the announcement of his departure, with Arteta saying: “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 per cent respect for him as a man and a coach. I know I’ll be facing him on the touchline in the future.”

Meanwhile, 18-year-old Bukayo Saka – who put in some impressive performances for the first team following the restart of the Premier League this spring – credited the former Gunner with aiding his development.

“Freddie has given us all so much valuable advice and support,” Saka said. ”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.”

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