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Thursday 12 September 2013

On this day in 1998: Ljungberg heads to Arsenal

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall the Swedish winger arriving at Highbury

  • Freddie Ljungberg scored five minutes into his Arsenal debut as they beat Man Utd 3-0

  • The midfielder was outstanding in the 2001/02 Premier League campaign, scoring 12 times

  • Premier League Player of the Year Ljungberg helped the Gunners win the 2001/02 title

  • He and Ray Parlour scored fine goals in Arsenal's 2002 FA Cup final victory over Liverpool

  • The Swede was also part of Arsenal's title-winning 'Invincibles' in 2003/04 rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 12 September 1998 - Freddie Ljungberg joins Arsenal

Arsenal secured the services of Swedish international Freddie Ljungberg from BK Halmstad and he went on to make a huge impact in a successful nine-year spell in North London.

English supporters got a glimpse of the midfielder when he produced an outstanding performance in Sweden's 2-1 victory over England in a Euro 2000 qualifier before Arsenal brought him to Highbury. It took only five minutes for Ljungberg to make a memorable impact in the Barclays Premier League, as marked his debut by rounding off a 3-0 victory over Manchester United with a goal after coming on as a substitute.

That proved to be his only League goal in an injury-affected debut campaign for the Gunners but he shot to prominence from the following season onwards and formed an effective relationship with Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires.

The 2001/02 season proved to be his finest. He scored 12 goals, including six in the last five matches of the campaign, as Arsenal won the Premier League title for the second time. His form earned him the Premier League Player of the Year award as a result. He capped off the year with a superb strike in Arsenal's 2002 FA Cup final victory over Chelsea.

He also played 30 times in Arsenal's 'Invincibles' title-winning 2003/04 campaign, when they went unbeaten for the entire league season. Ljungberg also won the 2005 FA Cup and played in the club's UEFA Champions League final defeat against Barcelona in 2006.

The Swede, also remembered for his colourful hairstyle during his time in North London, left the club in 2007 after injuries blighted the latter stages of his Premier League career. A season at West Ham United followed and, overall, he scored 47 goals in 255 Premier League appearances.  

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Arsenal completed the signing of Freddie Ljungberg from Swedish side BK Halmstad