Arsenal star explains how Freddie Ljungberg is having a huge impact on the squad | Football | Sport


The 42-year-old former Arsenal midfielder was recently promoted to assistant first-team coach and the squad are already reaping the rewards of his experience.

Maitland-Nilesis was full of praise for Ljungberg, who swapped positions with Steve Bould as head of the club’s under-23s, as part of a restructuring of personnel at Arsenal.

And the 23-year-old right-back feels the Swede has helped him improve the attacking side of his game.

“There’s quite a few things [I have learnt] really,” Maitland-Nilesis said about Ljungberg.

“He knows me as a winger, so attacking-wise he’s helped my game a lot.

“Defensively, I go to someone else to help me because they’re two different styles that I have to play.

“Him personally, he’s pulled me to the side a lot and has shown me different techniques and ways of beating players, ways of crossing the ball and shooting.

“It’s helping me and I’m happy to have him around because he’s such a big figure in the team.”

Ljungberg, who a key player in Arsenal’s Invincibles side during the 2003/04 season, has helped several of the young players within Emery’s squad, with Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka also praising his influence.

And he has even been tipped to takeover from Emery, at least on a temporary basis, if the Spaniard leaves the club.

As for Maitland-Niles, he admitted he is looking to try and get more assists this season.

“I only got two assists last season and I’ve got two already this season, which is a good start,” he said.

“Hopefully I continue with my assists and maybe create more opportunities to get my stats higher this season.

“I worked on it a lot when I was younger because I used to play on the wing, so the timing of my runs is everything to me.

“That’s what’s going to get me in on goal, that’s what’s going to get me behind the defence to either pass to someone else or to shoot on goal myself.

“It was very important for me to learn how to time my runs and create opportunities for others.”

Arsenal’s next game is against Sheffield United on Monday, when they will take on the Blades at Bramall Lane.

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