Unai Emery has hailed the “very positive” impact of Freddie Ljungberg on the Arsenal first-team setup, and revealed that he has already taught him about at least one of the players at his disposal.
Ljungberg – who played 325 games for the Gunners between 1998 and 2007, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups – moved up from the under-23s to become Emery’s assistant this summer, with Steve Bould going the other way.
Arsenal will hope that the appointment will help some of the club’s younger talents ease into the first-team setup, and speaking after the 2-1 win over Bayern Munich in Los Angeles on Wednesday , Emery hailed the Swede’s knowledge of the players.
“He knows better than us every young player,” he said.
“For example Robbie (Burton), I didn’t know. Freddie said to me he’s a good player to play more like a 6 or 8. Really he helped us.”
Nineteen-year-old midfielder Burton came on as a 64th minute substitute for Joe Willock against the German champions at the Dignity Health Tennis Center, following on from his appearance against Colorado Rapids on Monday.
The Gravesend-born youngster picked up five goals and four assists for the Gunners’ under-18s last season, his first campaign since going professional.
Emery added that he could be more willing to turn to the club’s younger players when competitive action starts.
“Our responsibility in this club for the history, present and future is to give young players a chance,” he said after the Bayern win, which was achieved thanks to a late strike from young forward Eddie Nketiah.
“If they deserve minutes they’ll get minutes. I’m very happy with them and their work.”