Arsenal have announced a number of significant changes to the makeup of their coaching staff, with long-time assistant Steve Bould replaced by Freddie Ljungberg.
The former Gunners star, who was part of the famous Invincibles title-winning side, was in charge of the under-23s last season and impressed Arsenal’s hierarchy, earning a new role as assistant first-team coach – though will still have a focus on youth development.
Bould previously ran the academy sides for 11 years under Arsene Wenger and will now lead the under-23s, working alongside academy manager Per Mertesacker as well as Ljungberg.
A statement from the club explained:
‘Our goal is to create a “transition team” which will collectively manage a player’s development through some of the hardest and most challenging periods of their professional lives.
‘The aim is to create a clear framework for our young players to fulfil their potential at the highest level.’
Speaking about his new role, Ljungberg said: ‘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.
‘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.’
Bould added: ‘I have always had a deep commitment to developing young players and am delighted to be back working in an area which is so important to the future of our club. We have great young players and my job will be to help them maximise their potential.’
The changes will come into effect from the start of July, with goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo also taking on extra responsibilities to help young goalkeepers transition to senior football.