Mertesacker is Arsenal assistant for Ljungberg debut as Gilberto snubbed by interim Gunners boss

ARSENAL have confirmed that Per Mertesacker will assist interim coach Freddie Ljungberg from the dugout at Norwich on Sunday.

The German, who like Ljungberg enjoyed a number of years playing for the Gunners, is currently the club academy manager.

 Mertesacker (right) joined Ljungberg (centre) in overseeing training after the Swede took charge

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Mertesacker (right) joined Ljungberg (centre) in overseeing training after the Swede took chargeCredit: Getty – Contributor


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But he will be switching over to first-team duties for tomorrow’s trip to Carrow Road.

In seven years as a central defender at Emirates Stadium, Mertesacker played over 200 games and won a pair of FA Cups.

Upon retiring in 2018, he immediately stepped into the role overseeing the Arsenal academy.

And players such as Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Joe Willock have all stepped up into the first-team since.

Youth prospects can expect to play a big part in Ljungberg’s stay, however long it is, with Tyreece John-Jules brought into first-team training on the Swede’s first day.

Another ex-player, Gilberto Silva, had been touted for the role but the Brazilian appears to have missed out for the time being.

Speaking on Soccer AM on Saturday morning, the Brazilian admitted: “There hasn’t been any contact. I don’t know if it will happen now but maybe in the future. At the moment, I can tell you there is nothing in place.”

The Gunners will be hoping to break the poor run of form that led to Unai Emery’s sacking on Friday.

Without a win in the Premier League since early October, the north London club witnessed a dismal defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt to spell the end of Emery’s tenure.

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