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Freddie Ljungberg excited by Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock's potential

Freddie Ljungberg says he rates Joe Willock really highly, and has claimed the Englishman is even as fast as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when he opens his legs.

The 21-year-old was handed his first Premier League start of the season against Leeds United on Sunday night, operating as an advanced midfielder ahead of Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

The star had a pretty average performance at Elland Road, and will be hopeful of another chance in the side against Wolves next weekend.

Speaking during the build-up to the game, Ljungberg – who has obviously worked with Willock closely – said on Sky Sports: “I rate him very highly.

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“Of course he is a young player who has a lot to learn, but he needs to play games, to rectify those small mistakes he does within the game.

“If you use him as a box-to-box player he will score goals, and he is just as quick as Aubameyang when he opens up his legs – he’s a very fast player.”

That is undoubtedly a claim that will surprise a few people, with Aubameyang known to be one of the fastest players in the Premier League.

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Willock was taken off before the hour mark against Leeds and didn’t really do too much in West Yorkshire, but there were very few strong individual performances in Arteta’s side.

(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

But the Whites are a very hard side to play against and he was always going to have it tough against them coming in for his first Premier League start.

As Ljungberg says, Willock needs games and hopefully Arteta hands him more starts and in the role the Swede believes he is best – box-to-box.

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