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Ljungberg joins the Arse(s)

Signing confirmed by AFCi (Fred's been given the number 8 shirt)

New signing Fred Ljungberg half naked in a changing room, with at least 2 arses visible (can you spot any more?) and one chap having a good old scratch under a towel. (thanks to Simon for finding this picture on Aftonbladet see full story)

See below for Biog & info, and some Opinions on Ljungberg from observers of the game in Sweden.

Possible New Arsenal signing 11th September 1998

Much as we hate to spread rumours, this one appears more likely than most...

Simon Dickson writes:

Looks like Arsenal have definitely signed Fredrik Ljungberg from Halmstad, for 3 million. According to his agent, he is due at Highbury today for his medical, and the deal is 'a 100% certainty' - and one of the unofficial Halmstad sites is saying 'Fredrik Ljungberg har skrivit pa for Arsenal' (my Swedish isn't great, but I can work that out for myself). Apparently Chelsea also made enquiries about the fella yesterday, barely a couple of hours after we had clinched his signature!
Excite have this quote from the agent (Vincenzo Morabito, NOT Rune Hauge!): "Everything is 100% certain. Arsenal has done everything very professionally. Just a couple of hours after we made the deal Chelsea wanted to sign Fredrik from July 1 next year. That shows how hot Fredrik is for the English clubs. Now he is going to a top club whose style will suit him down to the ground." Simon adds
Suggestions are that we see him as a replacement for Wrighty - don't know about that. But can you imagine a front 3 of Overmars, Anelka and now Ljungberg, described by the Swedish coach as 'the fastest runner with the ball in Europe'!
Arsenal have so far refused to comment, which is what we would expect until such a time as the deal is finalised (which would obviously not happen until after the medical, at the earliest).

The official Halmstad site now says

'Fredrik Ljungberg proffs i Arsenal?'
'HBK och Arsenal träffade sent på torsdagskvällen överenskommelse gällande Fredrik Ljungbergs övergång. Stig Nilsson bekräftar övergångsbeloppet till ca 40 miljoner. Klubbarna är alltså överens dock finns fortfarande några frågor som Fredrik och Arsenal skall diskutera under dagen.'

Facts from the Official Halmstad site:
  • Born 16 April 1977 (age 21, not 22 as I said earlier! That's ok, I'm only a mathematician, not expected to be able to subtract....)
  • Height 176cm
  • Weight 75kg
  • Came from Halmstad's youth policy
  • Made his senior Swedish debut in October 1994
  • 5 international caps (1 goal)
  • Pronunciation guide: Drop the initial 'L' and soften the 'j'
  • Plays left or centre midfield, but prefers the centre. Good passer, high work-rate, good technical skills and
  • Has attracted attention from English clubs after starring in Sweden's 2-1 win over England last Saturday.
  • Earlier this week, Barca were said to have bid £3million. Chelsea, Milan, Villa, & Parma are among the other clubs said to be interested.
  • Halmstad are the current Swedish champions
  • Ljungberg played for Halmstad in the qualifying round for the Champions League. He definitely can't play in the first 6 matches for us (missed the transfer deadline) but we presume this means he won't be eligible for us at all in the competition this year. Shame.
  • See hereand here for player info
  • and this ANR page for very positive comments from a long-standing Halmstad (& Arsenal) supporter.

Paul Cohen (who lives in Sweden) spotted this one early. Speculating on the likely object of Arsenal's attention at the Sweden-England game, he said this...
the players that could come into question, in my opinion, are Fredrik Ljungberg of Halmstad BK, current Swedish champions, or one of the strikers. That is assuming Wenger is looking for a midfielder/attacker to complement the squad. Andreas Andersson is crap and too expensive, Henrik Larsson or Jorgen Petterson could be targets, but they would probably cost more than they're worth. That leaves Ljungberg, who has for a couple of years been regarded as one of the most promising players in Sweden. He's young, very talented, not that well known outside of Sweden and would probably be relatively cheap. Sort of a typical Wenger target. He plays left/centre midfield, but prefers the centre position. He's fast, good passer of the ball, high work rate, has good technical skills and comes across as a decent "I'm just one in the team" sort of bloke. I have no doubts he would make it in the Premier in a year or two. Or any other top European League.
Good spot, Paul.

Peter Mikkelson, Halmstad & Arsenal fan, writes excitedly...

I can't quite express how happy I am at seeing Fredrik Ljungberg from my favorite swedish team Halmstad joining my other favorite club. And what an asset he will be! I presume you saw the Sweden-England game? Well, he's all that and MORE! I checked out your page about him here on Arseweb, and I think I could fill you in on one or more further facts about the man. The bit about him being an adequate replacement for WWW is... well, wrong. He's not a top man, more of an attacking midfielder. His role for Halmstad has during the past two years been as a central midfielder, with both ball-winning and offensive qualities, though also with certain defensive responsibilities. In the last few matches however, he has had a completely free supporting role, and has absolutely excelled in it. I reckon that Arsenal are going to use him as something of a midfield utility man, especially since his favorite role is already earmarked for Bergkamp (although DB10 is even more offensive). Fredrik can, however, play in all positions of the midfield. In his early matches for Halmstad, in 94 and 95, he was mostly used as right winger, and in 96 he was used as replacement for Niclas Alexandersson, who was sold to IFK Gothenburg (He now plays in Sheff Weds). The way I see it Fredrik and Stephen Hughes will be the two players in the squad fighting for one of the places now occupied by MO11, Paddy, Manu and Parlour. Unfortunately for Fredrik, Hughes was the man who saved us yesterday. This may ruin the vision that has appeared in my dreams the last few days: Ljungberg entering the field for the remaining 20-or-so minutes in next sunday's match against Manure, the score being 0-0, playing excellent and the score the winner in the last trembling minutes - And Ljungberg _is_ known to score spectacular goals.

Well, I think that's all. I really hope (and think) that Fredrik Ljungberg will be one of the revelations in the Premiership this season.

copyright belongs to original author where credited. otherwise © Rupert Ward, ArseWeb MMV

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