Arsenal want him to stay but the truth is that Freddie Ljungberg looks like he could be moved sideways to allow Mikel Arteta free reign to install his own support system and staff.
It was one of the details that Raul Sanllehi agreed in Arsenal’s complex negotiations with the Spaniard, with Arteta expressing the need to have control of key areas, especially the backroom staff, something which eluded Unai Emery.
The foundation of this new regime will be key and Klopp and Guardiola had to establish something similar before the plaudits and trophies came along. Having been involved in the resurrection of Manchester City, Arteta will be keen to build a strong platform to take the club forward.
If Ljungberg is cast aside from his current role, it’s highly likely that he will move on, but he won’t be short of offers and opportunities.
Arteta will be determined not to follow the previous line of the former coach. Decisions were made during the Emery tenure that few would agree to willingly, such as the appointment of Freddie Ljungberg as Emery’s assistant, something which was foisted on him.
This decision, like the selection of transfers targets would have been one area that Arteta would want some influence over because it’s also been said that the acquisitions in the summer, weren’t endorsed by Emery, with the Spaniard having contrasting ideas on who should fill certain roles.
There is a suggestion that Arteta is to meet with Edu and Sanllehi to discuss moves in the January and summer transfer windows.
There’s also likely to be a distinct Spanish flavour as the new coach searches for a spine for his vision and Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Fabian Ruiz (Napoli), Antonio Zarzanza (Sevilla), Ghanaian Thomas Partey and Dries Mertens (Napoli) have been mentioned.
Don’t expect a January cash splurge, but you can expect a central defender under the circumstances and who knows, it could be William Saliba’s long term partner.
One has to feel sorry for Ljungberg, who was hindered by a lack of coaching staff during his interim management, with only Per Mertesacker for support.
It appears that Arteta will receive strong support and that his approval will be required in any recruitment process. When a manager or coach is fired, it usually terminates the contracts of those that followed him and in some cases, it ends the capacity they served in.
It’s been heavily suggested that Ljungberg will be replaced by Steve Round as the assistant coach. Steve has already joined Arteta’s backroom staff at Arsenal.
Steve Round has held coaching roles at Aston Villa, Everton, Middlesbrough and Newcastle and it’s during his time with the Toffees that he made an impression on Arteta, who was there at roughly the same time.
If Freddie leaves, it will be incredibly sad, but for Arsenal to transcend the monumental mess that Kroenke, his board and Emery are jointly responsible for, it is absolutely necessary.
We won’t know the extent of the clear out, but it’s likely to be the same for the current first team with only a handful safe from the inevitable cull. Ljundberg’s place in the hearts of Arsenal supporters is assured. He deserves a great deal of praise and admiration for making the best out of a dreadful situation with insufficient support.
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