Odegaard brings Arsenal something we never had before, says Arteta

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 May 2021 19:43 BST 2 min read
Odegaard brings Arsenal something we never had before, says Arteta

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes new signing Martin Odegaard brings certain “special qualities” to the squad that were not there prior to his arrival.

This January, Odegaard came to an agreement with parent club Real Madrid to leave on loan for the rest of the season in order to gain some first-team football, having been restricted to just three starts in La Liga in 2020/21.

A return to former club Real Sociedad looked the most likely scenario as it was there in a loan last season that the Norwegian came into his own, emerging as one of the most impressive performers in the league.

However, Arsenal eventually won the race for his signature, and Arteta is delighted that Odegaard has arrived to add something different to his forward line.

“He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we need, that we have been missing,” the Spaniard said on Thursday.

“Now we have to give him a little bit of time. He hasn’t played that many minutes in Madrid, but he’s been training hard and he looks so excited, as we are to have another big talent at our club.

Arteta would go to outline exactly what Odegaard’s qualities are, saying:

“He’s a specialist to play in the pocket, to be in the No 8 and No 10 positions. He can play off the side. A really creative player, really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces. The capacity to create chances, to score goals.

“Something he has improved a lot is his work rate without the ball. It’s another option to give us more creativity in the final third and to set in different ways against certain teams.”

Odegaard starred with Stromsgodset as a youngster and into his mid teens and was eventually signed by Real Madrid in 2015 to much fanfare, with him considered one of the best players in the world in his age group at the time.

After loan spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse, and then Real Sociedad, he returned to Real Madrid for the 2020/21 season, only to fall out of favour with head coach Zinedine Zidane after starting the club’s first two league games.

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