This article forms part of our Transfer Scenario feature, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at a recent transfer rumour and suggests what the potential consequences would be, should a deal be completed.
With the pressure being ramped up on manager Unai Emery after a loss to Sheffield United, it would seem fair to think about what would happen if Freddie Ljungberg was to be given the job on a temporary basis should the Basque-born manager get sacked mid-season.
In the summer, the Swede was promoted to be part of Emery’s coaching staff with Steve Bould moving in the opposite direction. That occurred at the same time as five players under the age of 24 joined the club (via Transfermarkt), showing a keenness of using youth moving forward.
Following those moves, Raul Sanllehi came out and assured fans over the future of the Spanish coach claiming the club must qualify for the Champions League football (via The Metro).
As reported by the Daily Star, plenty of supporters online have backed the Gunners legend to replace Emery and, earlier in October, David Ornstein of the Athletic (via the Sun) suggested the Swede could be an option if anything were to happen on the sacking front during the campaign.
“Freddie is highly-rated by the players and staff, and the logical feeling is he would take temporary charge if anything happened with Emery.
All of the factors above lead you to believe that the former Sweden international could be in with a shout at taking temporary charge should Emery get sacked.
So what will be the impact if Ljungberg was appointed?
Youth players could thrive
Youth players have featured and done well in all three of the games in the Carabao Cup and Europa League this season. Joe Willock, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka have all started and scored in some of the cup games, and have played under Ljungberg for the under-23s.
It can’t be understated how highly talked about Ljungberg is by younger members of Arsenal’s squad. Saka came out and praised him for the impact he’s had on his young career (via The Telegraph).
And according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, the north London legend is highly rated by players and the staff at the club. This shows the impact Ljungberg had on the youth players in his short time at the club, and how well he did during his time in charge of the under-23s.
Similar style of play
While there may be differences between youth level football and senior football, Ljungberg enjoyed a seriously good spell in charge of the Arsenal under-23s.
He managed to develop a set philosophy that took a while to implement, however, proved massively successful for the Young Guns. Ljungberg actually prefered to play out of the back and likes his teams to press, as noted by You Are My Arsenal.
Indeed, this is a tactic previously spoken about by Emery himself.
So, in terms of change from one manager to another, if Ljungberg took charge it wouldn’t be much different Emery. This ensures any period needed to adjust to tactics should, in theory, be simple for the players if a change of manager occurred.
In 2019, the youngsters enjoyed massive wins against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, showing that the style of play is having a good impact when implemented.
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