Arsenal academy graduate Joe Willock has paid tribute to Freddie Ljungberg after a start to the season in which he has broken into the first team.
As per Football.London, Willock was full of praise for the Swedish coach, who worked with him in the youth ranks and has now moved into a more senior role.
He said: “Freddie is not only such a legend at the club, he’s an unbelievable manager and coach. He’s a mentor for me, he showed me a lot behind the scenes that people don’t really know about.
“Every day I’m working with him and I’m learning from him. He has improved me a lot. It’s nice for him to follow me up to the first-team, it makes me feel more comfortable. He’s improved my whole overall game, getting in the pockets. He showed me a lot of different tactics to get space and turn to attack.”
TBR’s View – Emery’s subtle switch paying dividends
Ljungberg effectively switched roles with Steve Bould this summer, as Unai Emery realised that the club’s young players were one of the most exciting things about the club and brought the Swede higher up to grease the wheels between the academy and the first team.
Willock’s high praise shows the impact that has had in not only getting the youth players to a first team level but also making sure they are comfortable when they get there – just as Willock has been this term.