Ainsley Maitland-Niles is full of praise for Freddie Ljungberg’s training methods and believes that Gunners assistant first-team manager has improved the attacking side of his game.
Following a coaching reshuffle at the London club over the summer, Freddie was promoted into a prominent position in Spaniard’s coaching team with Steve Bould replacing him as U23 manager.
Ljungberg, an essential member of Gunners Invincibles side in 2003-04, has reportedly impressed in his new position and is being tipped as a potential successor to Unai Emery should the Spanish tactician leave at the end of his deal in 2021.
Explaining how Freddie has helped him this term, Ainsley said: ‘There are quite a few things I have learnt from Ljungberg. He knows me as a forward, 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.
As well as helping Ainsley on the training pitch, Freddie has also been credited with assisting Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka’s development during his role with Gunners U23s last campaign.
The 22-year-old winger has been heavily involved for London club in the opening weeks of the season, starting six of the Gunners eight Premier League games although he faces competition at right-back from Calum Chambers and fit-again Hector Bellerin.
English attacker defended himself from criticism of his form earlier this campaign by suggesting that Spanish coach is playing him out of position after he came through Gunners academy as a box-to-box midfielder.