Monday, May 20, 2024

“He’s got something about him” – Arteta lavishes praises on Odegaard

Mikel Arteta says he’s been impressed by Martin Odegaard’s leadership skills and the way the ‘humble’ Norwegian has settled so quickly at Arsenal.

Signed on loan from Real Madrid in January, the 22-year-old impressed on his first start for the Gunners against Leeds United at the weekend with the boss particularly taken by the manner in which he urged his teammates to implement the high press.

Facing the media ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Benfica in Rome, the boss was asked what impression the player had made so far.

“All positives,” replied Arteta, “from my first conversation that I had with him, he’s a really focused and a humble boy.

“He was really keen to join, he just wants to play football in the right way. He’s settled really quickly. Really nice guy, the players like him, the staff like him, he’s really easy going, a hard worker.

“I’ve been very impressed with his leadership. He looks a little bit calm and reserved but on the pitch, he’s got something about him. I’ve been really impressed with him.

He added: “When I talk about leadership, it’s how he talks to his teammates, how he commands, for example, the high press.

“And then there’s the personality he shows every time an opponent is close to him, he still wants the ball in the right areas, his decision making is really good. He’s a really intelligent player.

Asked if he Odegaard has the potential to be one of the best players in the world, Arteta said: “It’s not the potential, he’s done it. I followed him very closely at Real Sociedad where he had a lot of opportunities and was really impressive over there for long periods.

“He had a really successful season over there and that’s one of the reasons why I was so convinced that he was a player for us, a player I really liked and has potential to be even better.”

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Arteta on the charm offensive ahead of a summer bid?


Possibly, but any thought of a bid on the strength of a single (albeit pretty good) performance is a tad premature, isn’t it?


aww, you’re no fun.


I know – guilty. Mind you, we did have a giggle with several of the “big buys” over the last five years or so – those buys that were so poor we couldn’t shift them so had to pay them to leave. What larks, eh.

Spanish Gooner

He was incredible for La Real last season, and Mikel probably has contacts at the club as he is an ex-player. He’s not basing it on one game!


True up to a point, but we’re talking about buying him here. I think (hope) that MA would put more weight on how any player actually plays for us, rather than what he did with another club, with all the differences, if he has the luxury to compare/contrast. You don’t usually have that option. Would we have bought, say, Mustafi had he played for us over half a season first? We’ll never know for sure of course, but I doubt it on the evidence we had pretty soon after we did sign him. All I’m saying is let’s not get… Read more »


So we should take every player on loan first before we buy them?

Old but Gold

If possible, it’s a no brainer, try before you buy….

Old but Gold

Isn’t that why he is on loan? We can see him first iver a period and then make a decision. On first look in this league, if i had to make a choice right now, i would take him over Willian or Ceballos. OR. I would choose him and Ceballos and wave Willian goodbye


He has approximately 120 other pretty successful top flight appearances for teams in multiple leagues around Europe. Seems like you’re underselling what we’ve got here. Just because he’s not played much for Madrid doesn’t mean he hasn’t played

Old but Gold

Tad premature if you only take his performance for us but if you take in his performances for Sociadad, this guy is obviously a ‘player’.

King 14enry

He played football before you started watching him for Arsenal…


Yep thats way we doing it.. lets go get him 30m/35m no more good business thank you Madrid. Send Ceballos back he’s been a good servant but we can’t pay 25m for Ceballos not worth it. maybe if Madrid accept 15m and we get both for 50m then sure we’ll take Ceballos then otherwise. Send him back buy Odegaard thats it.

50m for both or 30m/35m for Odegaard. Anything else no deal.


Take Dani on loan again next year…Why not? He is a useful squad player for sure. 3rd best CM in the squad and arguably the 2nd best (although Xhaka has been good recently and deserving of his place ahead of Dani). Just not sure how much we should fork out for Dani. So, just loan him again. He’s not going to play at Madrid.


Fair enough. Let’s see how he’s done after, say, six matches or so. I’m sure he’s a nice lad and all that, but surely it’s what he can do for us on the pitch that will count.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Tough customers, Arsenal fans.

Disarmed Gunner

Not really. We have seen this all before. Ceballos came in and played a worldie against Burnley and hasn’t done anything since. That was over a year ago. Hope Ode comes good but I’ll wait at least 10 games before saying sign him up.


Ceballos was part of an FA Cup winning team that beat City then Chelsea in the final

His goal knocked out Sheffield United in the quarters

Not sure i’d call that not doing anything since Burnley….

Ceballos’s lack of pace is a concern, but he’s got a lot of other really good qualities


You’re right about Ceballos of course and the proof is on this site in the older posts. You almost always get this premature reaction from some Gooners but if the “great buy” turns out not to be so great, everyone is against them (often including their most fervent supporters earlier on). All that’s being suggested by a few of us is that the club should be cautious and take the rare opportunity of seeing how a player actually plays in our set up, rather than base it all upon what they did at another club as it often the case,… Read more »


Alright, hyperbole meter alert.
Sure Dani isn’t consistent enough. This is absolutely true. But he has done much more than one good game against Burnley. He was bloody good against Leeds for example.


Cautious and canny, I hope.


Am I the only one that suspects biggles is santori’s pen name??


I think you are. And it’s not true anyway.


No he’s not!


He is a genius sort of a player. Technique is good in many players, but combination of that game intelligence and technique is what makes for an elite midfielder.

Bob the gunner

His idol is Cesc Fabregas.


His idol Pep Guardiola.
Pep’s idol Bielsa.
I have no idea where I’m going with this…


Once he grows to his potential and will go back to his childhood club and later join our rivals.


He is the type of player that wenger would have loved!


Future great and way out of our price range unfortunately


We’re going to make Real Madrid an offer they can’t refuse…


Yeah, a swap deal involving Willian.

We pay them £50m or whatever for Odegaard and throw in Willian for nothing…

Failing that, we could throw Willian in the bin at Colney….


Yep – here’s 2m, also we’ll pay his wages, we’ll make him better and increase his value and then we’ll give him back to you at the end of the season.

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

I laughed then thought: wait, we did it for Partey and Pépé.


Lobby to keep Zidane there and maybe we can drop the price and keep both the RM boys. Probably pick up a few more ‘unfavored’ to boot. Entertaining thought, at least.

Timorous Me

I feel like I should be rooting for RM to win the Champions League, but the thought of that leaves me feeling a bit dirty.


Agreed its dirty but if someone will win it let it be RM so that we can also benefit by the sell out


Yeah, it makes me uncomfortable to see Ramos happy.

Spanish Gooner

Maybe not… Madrid are short on cash (they made no signings last summer) and Odegaard will be at the crucial 2 year stage in summer; they’ll have to renew or sell him, and if Zidane is still around he certainly won’t sign a new contract. It’s also worth bearing in mind that we’ll have Özil, Sokratis, Mustafi, Ceballos and Kolasinac all off the wage bill, then you’d imagine offers will be considered for any of Torreira, Chambers, Maitland Niles, Guendouzi, Lacazette, Mavropanos, Nketiah, Nelson and Elneny, raising funds and freeing up more wages. Most other European clubs are broke (Premier… Read more »

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

That is a nice thought, but let’s not forget that Arsenal have a 120 million pound loan thing. I think it was reported here to be immediately repayable? Even if there is the clear-out you speak of, we will need some degree of squad depth. AMN, Nketiah, Nelson and Elneny may not be regularly played, but typically for Arsenal, we need them just after they leave. Chambers too is in with that. We forget that before his season ending injury, he was doing very well for us. Probably, given the way the fixtures have been piling up, and to preserve… Read more »


Madrid are certainly short of cash and their gross debt is creeping up towards Barca levels although their overall financial position is quite a lot better. The position on Zidane will certainly be a factor in any Odegaard move – it’s win the CL or out for Mr Z, I suspect. I think you misunderstand the primary reason for off-loading the Arsenal players you mentioned though. This was to cut the wage bill that was not sustainable without CL income (possibly without EL income now) not to divert savings to buy players, which would defeat the object. We certainly have… Read more »


I liked the cut of that lad’s jib out there against Leeds. Silky touch, smart movement, combined really well with Saka, Ceballos, ESR, vision to keep himself away from the heavy challenges while still being effective, quick thinking. IF we see more of that and there’s an opening, it would be quite a chance to add a top talent in a role we can definitely use it.

Seeing 3 technical attackers and a proficient striker out there brought me wistfully back to the mediocre old days of securing CL places.

Daniel O May

Hehe! I love the end of that article! The mediocre old days etc?… genius!

Baichung Bhutia

Yes praise him a lot so he puts in a transfer request. He will make a good signing especially once we get his countryman Haaland as replacement for Laca.


Yes, Haaland was excellent v Sevilla today and he would be good in the PL. Odegaard, however, needs a few more games before we can be sure. His style is better suited to the Spanish or Italian leagues rather than the rough and tumble of the EPL. I for one will want to see how he performs over 5-6 matches. I hope he does well.

Spanish Gooner

What “rough and tumble” of the premier league? “Smaller” sides like Brighton and Aston Villa play some lovely stuff (or try to), and if you actually watched the Spanish League you’d know it’s far from the Tiki-Taka utopia – Diego Simeone is running away with the league, and teams like Athletic Club and Celta Vigo have the same kind of direct reputation there as a Burnley or a West Ham over here. Odegaard is more than ready for the premier league.


Days of the humans and elves are over, time of the orcs has arrived. Long live heavy metal pressing


There’s something about Mari as well.

Licor de Avellanas

How does he get his hair to do that?

Naked Cygan

If things go well with him, I can see us selling Willock and signing Odegaard for another long-term loan deal next season similar to Ceballos.

Spanish Gooner

I think you’re right about Willock being sold – £15m for him while he gets to play in a side more suited to his game would be a success story and an intelligent use of the academy that benefits all sides. Guendouzi could easily come back and take Ceballos’ place in the squad, if he wants to, with somebody like Azeez filling in for the early stages of the Europa League and League Cup. I can’t see Madrid loaning us a player that would have only 1 year left when he comes back and who is out of favour with… Read more »

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

If we do end up getting Odegaard on a permanent basis, at the very least it will stop the Draxler stories entirely. Though seeing his assist for MBappe…

Wrote this somewhere else as well; I am hoping Arteta goes wild, and has the fit players to play
Bellerin – RB – Gabriel/Mari – KT
Saka – Odegaard – ESR – Pépé
in some game this season.


i wonder how that would work in practice. i can def see us getting overwhelmed in defense/ on the break or at the very least we would have to ask KT and HB to play defensively which probably isn’t to their strengths. but if we are 1-0 down against mourinho style 10 defenders in the box it could be nice 🙂


Are you really saying that Tierney is not a good defender? 🙈🙈🙈

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

I am not sure how playing defensively is not to KT’s strength. He is a defender who can attack really well. And Saka has played as a defender, Odegaard (on the basis of one game, true) presses alright, ESR is no slouch, and Pépé has been supporting his wing partner fairly well. Not as ill-equipped defensively as one would think.

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