Former Arsenal attacker Freddie Ljungberg has predicted a bright future for the north London club.
The 35-year-old made 313 appearances for the Gunners in a nine-year spell, lifting the Premier League title twice, and revealed he still watches his old club as much as possible, insisting that Arsene Wenger’s young side will get ‘better and better’.
And, despite Arsenal having gone seven years without winning a trophy, the Swede believes that Wenger’s team will soon break that cycle.
“Arsenal is a big part of my life. I’m there quite often and live in London, so it’s important to me,” he told the club’s official website:.
“I still keep in touch with my old team-mates, too. We’re all great friends, and I actually saw Jens Lehmann down in Munich recently. Most of us still talk a lot to each other.
“I enjoy watching the current team – it’s a young side and will hopefully get better and better. With the addition of one or two good signings, things look bright.”
Ljungberg also had nothing but kind words for Wenger’s former assistant Pat Rice, who stepped down from his role this summer after 16 successful years.
He continued: “Pat was in charge of the defensive unit and helped the likes of Ashley Cole to develop.
“He helped us in midfield as well and was an important part member of Arsene’s staff – he did wonders. Pat played a big part in incorporating a French culture into an English one and making it work perfectly.”
Ljungberg left Japanese outfit Shimizu S-Pulse in February but has been unable to sign for a new club since then due to a paperwork issue which restricts him from playing until July 1.
But, after enjoying spells in America, Japan and Scotland, he insists he is not ready to hang up his boots just yet.
He added: “When I went to America, it was a big thing to learn about cultures and other people. That’s what I’ve been doing since leaving Arsenal – I’ve been to America and Japan and the experience has been amazing. You gain a lot and it’s important to me to learn from different people.
“I’ve not been allowed to play football until July because the paperwork when I left Japan wasn’t signed until February.
“My body feels fine, there are no problems there, but it depends on what I want to do. We’ve said no to some offers, and there are others that I’ve said I’ll respond to in July. It has to be something extraordinary, otherwise I’m quite happy with my life.”