According to Sportsbladet, Freddie Ljungberg is one of a number of names being considered for the vacant head coach position at Swedish side AIK.
After a troubled start to the new Allsvenskan season, AIK called time on Rikard Norling’s four-year stint in the role earlier this week.
According to sporting director Henrik Jurelius, they are now looking for someone who can make an immediate impact – they are currently 12th out of 16 teams – but also a figurehead who can help them improve in the long-term.
Ljungberg has been identified as one of the ‘dream’ candidates with other names on the list including ex-Aston Villa defender Olaf Mellberg, veteran British coach Stuart Baxter, a former AIK coach who is currently working in the Indian Super League, and Bartosz Grzlak, a former assistant coach at AIK and current assistant manager of Sweden’s under-21s.
It’s no secret that Freddie Ljungberg is keen to become a head coach. Since Mikel Arteta took over in December, the 43-year-old stopped sitting in the dugout on matchday, instead watching matches from the stands. He still works day-to-day with the first team, but you wouldn’t be surprised if he starts looking elsewhere with the top job at the Emirates out of his reach for the time being.
Given the circumstances, Ljungberg did pretty well in his six-games as interim head coach at the tail-end of 2019. Three draws, two defeats and a win at West Ham are not to be sniffed at given he had limited backroom staff to work with and the team were suffering an existential crisis following months of schizophrenic football under Unai Emery.
Obvously if AIK does come knocking and Freddie decides to take his chances, we’d be sad to see him leave. Either way, it sounds like Mikel Arteta will look to make additions to his coaching set-up this summer.
The boss had very little time to assemble his assistants when he took over in December and he’ll no doubt have a better grasp of their strengths and weaknesses and in what capacity his players might need additional help and experience.