After lobbing Peter Schmeichel at Highbury with his first touch in an Arsenal shirt to claim his first goal for the club, Freddie Ljungberg couldn't do much wrong in Gooners' eyes and that he didn't - he did everything right.
Apart from the red stripe in his hair, Arsenal fans will always remember Ljungberg for his tireless running, tenacious tackling and trademark darts from midfield which more often than not ended with a goal. Along with Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires, the three geniuses developed a beautiful telepathy which hasn't been seen in North London since.
Undoubtedly, Ljungberg enjoyed his best period at the club in the 2001-02 season. As 2002 began, he was loved, by May he was worshipped - as Arsenal soared to their second Premier League and FA Cup double in four years, the midfielder scored an astonishing 17 goals in all competitions and was rightly named Barclaycard Player of the Season.
The previous season, the Swede scored in an FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool at the Millennium Stadium - the goal was the first FA Cup final goal to be scored outside of England and a year later, back in Cardiff he became only the third player in the history of the competition to score in successive finals when he scored a magnificent goal against Chelsea as the Gunners won 2-0 to lift the cup. Only days later, Ljungberg assisted a Sylvain Wiltord title-winning goal as Arsenal beat Manchester United 1-0 to the seal the double.
Ljungberg was also part of Arsenal's Invincibles of 2003-04, the same side which set an unbeaten record of 49 games. Injuries then began to take their tole on the crowd favourite and he eventually left for West Ham in 2007. He made an emotional return to the Emirates with the Hammers on New Years Day 2008 and received a standing ovation from the Gooners as he left the pitch after injury cut short his afternoon.
Freddie Ljungberg scored a total of 72 goals in 328 appearances for the Gunners and in July 2008, on the club's official website, Ljungberg was voted 11th Gunner's Greatest 50 Players list and last year into Arsenal's all-time XI. Here's what his former manager had to say about him:
"Freddie's contribution to Arsenal Football Club was absolutely outstanding. He is a winner and always gave absolutely everything when he played for us. He was an intelligent player and always combined this well with his fantastic fighting spirit." - Arsène Wenger
Ljungberg was capped 75 times by his country and scored 14 international goals. He started his career in Sweden at Halmstad and also enjoyed spells at Seattle Sounders and Chicago Fire in the MLS, Celtic and most recently Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan but it is his time in the red of Arsenal, he will be remembered for.
Watch some of Ljungberg's best moments from that 2001-02 campaign...
image: © Ronnie Macdonald