Arsenal Update: Odegaard’s long-term future, Murphy criticizes Mari starting before Magalhaes

Martin Odegaard-Arsenal
Martin Odegaard-Arsenal

Arteta hails Odegaard impact

Arsenal signed Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid during the January transfer window and the Norwegian attacking midfielder has made quite an impression in the Premier League so far.

The 22-year-old has managed to adapt to the Premier League instantly and he has produced some splendid performances for the London side in recent weeks.

The club’s manager Mikel Arteta has hailed the Norwegian as a team leader in recent weeks and he has hinted at a permanent deal for the Real Madrid midfielder.

Odegaard has been the creative spark Arsenal have been missing this season and it is no surprise that Arteta is so impressed with his performances.

The midfielder has shown tremendous maturity and attitude to settle in quickly and make an immediate impact.

It will be interesting to see if the Gunners can agree on a permanent transfer with the Spanish outfit this summer.

The midfielder needs to play regularly at this stage of his career and if Real Madrid cannot provide him with that platform he should look to leave the Spanish outfit for good.

Arteta said: “The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential.

“I think we’ve all been a bit surprised because he looks really shy and humble, but when he steps on that pitch he’s a real character and he loves to play football.”

The Spaniard added: “I think he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wanted to win.

“When everyone was a little trembling he gave us that stability and that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.”

The Arsenal boss continued: “I love talented and creative players that all the time are willing to take the ball and make that happen, that they are mobile and as well as hard working. He is one of them.”

Murphy questions Arteta selection

Meanwhile, popular pundit Danny Murphy has criticized Mikel Arteta for his decision to start Pablo Mari in place of Gabriel Magalhaes against West Ham United.

Gabriel produced an impressive performance against Tottenham and it was baffling to see the Brazilian dropped against the Hammers.

Murphy claims that Gabriel is a better player than Mari and Arteta made a wrong selection which cost him three points.

Arsenal were held to a 3-3 draw against West Ham and a better defensive performance could have secured them the three points.

Murphy said: “He [Arteta] has to take some responsibility. Gabriel did as good a job on Kane as I’ve seen any centre-half do and he puts Mari back in. He’s not as good. I’m sorry, he’s not as good.”