Freddie Ljungberg appointed Arsenal Under-23 coach

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Freddie Ljungberg has been appointed as head coach of the Arsenal Under-23 side, the north London club have announced.

The former Arsenal midfielder played more than 200 matches for the Gunners and won the Premier League twice in a nine-year spell at the club from 1998.

Following a short stint as assistant manager at Wolfsburg, the former Sweden international will formally return to Arsenal next month.

“I’m delighted to be returning to the club,” Ljungberg, 41, said. “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.”

Ljungberg joyed Arsenal from Halmstad in 1998, and played a prominent role in the north London side’s Premier League and FA Cup double triumph of 2002. He was also part of the Invincibles team which went unbeaten for the 2004 league campaign.

The midfielder left Arsenal in 2007 before brief spells at West Ham, Seattle Sounders, Chicago Fire and Celtic. He hung up his boots in 2012.

Ljungberg, who also played 75 times for Sweden, previously coached the Arsenal Under-15 and Under-19 squads.

He moved to Wolfsburg as former Arsenal Academy manager Andries Jonker’s number two, but left when Jonker was sacked by the German side after just seven months in charge.

Arsenal’s new Academy manager Per Mertesacker said: “It’s great to have Freddie back at the club. He brings great footballing experience and the highest possible levels of enthusiasm, energy and encouragement for our young professionals.

“He understands the club’s values and how important it is to give young players the opportunity to grow and develop.

“When Freddie left for Wolfsburg it was with the club’s blessing and with a return to Arsenal some day in mind.

“Everyone knows Freddie loves the club and we look forward to him developing his career with us.”

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