Freddie Ljungberg leaves role as Mikel Arteta’s assistant/Bukayo Saka among Arsenal stars to react

Arsenal legend Freddie Ljungberg has this evening announced his decision to depart his role as assistant manager at the Emirates.

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Ljungberg, 43, is of course regarded as an icon on the red half of north London.

The Swede lined out for the Gunners for 9 years, between 1998 and 2007, playing a key role in a pair of Premier League triumphs.

As such, it came as little surprise when, on the back of playing stints across the globe during the twilight years of his career, Ljungberg opted to return to Arsenal in 2016, to take up a coaching role.

The former winger went on to work his way through the youth ranks of the capital giants, a route which eventually saw him handed the first-team reins at the Emirates on an interim basis late last year.

Mikel Arteta’s subsequent appointment in December, though, saw Ljungberg bumped back down to assistant duties, with the Swede having acted as the new Arsenal boss’ right-hand man en route to FA Cup glory earlier this month.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: Mikel Arteta manager of Arsenal and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal pose with the trophy after the FA Cup Final match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 1, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

‘Progress my management experience’

As outlined above, though, Ljungberg evidently has his sights set on a more prominent role than an assistant position.

Taking to social media a short time ago, the ex-Gunners star confirmed that he has come to the decision to depart the Emirates, to seek out a new challenge:

‘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.’

Ljungberg added:

‘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.’

Arsenal, meanwhile, have since posted a number of social media updates of their own, thanking Ljungberg for all that he has done for the club:

Bukayo Saka was also quick to reveal his gratitude, labelling Ljungberg a ‘legend’:

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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