Arsenal have promoted Freddie Ljungberg to assistant first-team coach, effectively replacing Steve Bould going into the new season.
The former Arsenal midfielder has impressed in his work with the Under-23s in recent years, helping to bring through a talented generation of players.
Now Ljungberg will be working closely alongside Unai Emery with the Arsenal first team, tasked with helping some of those young players to make the transition from Under-23s to the first team.
Bould, who has been working as an assistant to Emery, having previously done a similar job with Arsene Wenger, will work with the Under-23 side again next season.
“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 told the club’s 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.”
The promotion of Ljungberg, who played for Arsenal’s legendary Invincibles team in 2003-04, is a recognition of his growing influence and popularity inside the club. He is already being spoken of inside the club as a potential caretaker replacement for Emery should he ever leave.
“We are delighted with the impact Freddie has made in helping to develop our young players into the first team and he fully deserves this promotion,” the club said in a statement published on their website. “Alongside his new coaching responsibilities, Freddie will have a strong focus on the young players who are moving into the first team group.
“Steve Bould will lead our under-23 team as well as oversee the under-23 and under-18 phase programme with academy manager Per Mertesacker. Alongside his new under-23 head coach responsibilities, Steve will work with Freddie to determine how players transition between the academy and first team to ensure our players are exposed to the right challenges at the right time.”
The club’s goalkeeping coach, Sal Bibbo, will also take on additional responsibilities to his current coaching role, with his new position involving the promotion of young players to the club’s senior team. The club’s loan manager, Ben Knapper, completes the club’s ‘transition team’.
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.”