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Arsenal youngster Saka credits Ljungberg for rise to first-team: He still messages me

Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka owes a debt of gratitude to club legend Freddie Ljungberg.

The former midfielder was coaching the Gunners youth teams during the time Saka made his way to the first team.

Ljungberg was also in caretaker charge of the first team in 2019.

The 19-year-old, who is in the England squad for Euro 2020, believes Ljungberg deserves a lot of credit for how he has developed.

"He has been really good with me," Saka said of Ljungberg, per the Evening Standard.

"From 14, when he took over my development, he challenged me in a way other coaches did not. He pushed me and saw my potential in a way other coaches did not.

"All the way to the under-23s he was still pushing me and even in the first team he was still helping me. Even till today. He has had a big influence on my career.

"He says different things. Because he was a winger himself he had a lot of experience himself and learning points to give me.

"He texted me the other day when I scored. He wrote, 'congratulations, and make sure you pack a few things that you would do at home and that will keep yourself entertained'.

"Because we have a good team he said he thought we were going to go far and be here a long time. Because we would have a lot of free time he wanted to make sure I would keep happy.

"It is not just the football side, he is a man who helps me with my personal life as well.

"He is such a top guy and I really appreciate that message from him."

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Paul Vegas

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