And so it happens. Former superhero, supermodel, superfinisher, supermohican Fredrik Ljungberg has been sold to West Ham Utd.
The two clubs have come to an agreement on a reported £3million transfer.
It sees the end of an Arsenal era, really – Lehmann is the last ‘Invincible’ left, but Ljungberg had overseen so much more of Arsenal’s resurgent 90’s/00’s history. Wenger has now completely overhauled the squad – Henry, Ljungberg, Aliadiere have gone – and Lehmann, who two seasons ago was the premiership’s best, now finds competition in the form of the exciting Fabianski.
Looking back several seasons ago, we see a completely different Freddy to the one we see now: Fast, zippy, energetic, killer finish, and unparalleled movement thanks to that telepathic partnership he had with Dennis Bergkamp. Today, injuries have robbed him of his pace and ability to beat his man, though his timing still remained in tact.
Arsene Wenger, on Ljungberg’s departure, had this to say: “Freddie’s contribution to Arsenal Football Club was absolutely outstanding. His performances over the past nine seasons have been a major part of the Club’s successes during this time, especially in our 2002 ‘double’ year when he scored and created so many goals from midfield. Freddie is a winner and always gave absolutely everything when he played for this Club. He is an intelligent player and always combined this well with his fantastic fighting spirit. We thank Freddie for his contribution and wish him well for the future.”
I personally will miss him, as one of my favourite Arsenal players ever. The FA Cup Final goal against Chelsea, the cheeky celebrations, the mohican, that absurdly lucky goal against Spurs – many others can come up with many more. In the end, no matter how much he has slowed down and worn away, Freddie will always be an Arsenal icon.
What it does mean for the team is that a winger, two wingers even, are now needed. I would not be altogether surprised if we dont in fact buy one, as Wenger may see Rosicky/Eduardo and Hleb/Walcott/Eboue as enough. Quaresma keeps being brought up in the realm of fantasy, and I’d entertain that delusion, just to etch a smile on the face.
In any case, the complete overhaul of this team is…something quite staggering. Each season that passes gets more and more interesting.
The Appiah rumours get but a small mention, here. We do not need a central midfielder, especially one that would get in front of the may-be-younger-but-actually-better Diaby.
Thank God there’s nothing to say about takeover rumours. Freddy is more important. More important!