Monday, July 22, 2024

“He is complete, I like him in every way” – Wenger lauds Odegaard

Arsene Wenger has revealed he was desperate to sign Martin Odegaard when the Norwegian was only 15 and says he’s very happy to see the midfielder now flourishing at Emirates Stadium.

A fully-fledged international player at 15, Odegaard, then on the books at homeland side Stromsgodset, held talks with most of Europe’s big clubs before finally deciding to join Real Madrid for a fee in the region of €4 million.

While the Spanish giants turned a considerable profit when they sold Odegaard to the Gunners in the summer of 2021, he failed to fulfil his potential at the Bernabeu and played most of his football on loan at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad before a six-month spell under Mikel Arteta’s tutelage.

He’s not looked back at Arsenal, winning the hearts and minds of the fans with his energy and creativity and the admiration of his manager and teammates who were happy to elevate him to the captaincy.

On Boxing Day, Wenger returned to Arsenal to watch his former side in person for the first time since May 2018. Odegaard put on a show, making two assists, as the Gunners ran out 3-1 winners over West Ham.

Afterwards, Wenger visited the dressing room and reminded Odegaard of their previous meeting.

“When he was 15, I talked to him. I actually spoke to Martin about it after the game on Boxing Day,” he told TV2.

“I was desperate to sign him. Fortunately, he is here now. He really is like a young Cesc Fábregas. I think he has developed into a complete player.

“He is a very calm player who analyses the game well. He has his feet firmly planted on the ground.

“I am super impressed. He really is a down-to-earth and nice boy. The way he analyses the game. He also did that as a 15-year-old…the sharpness! I am really impressed. He will do well.”

Despite losing out to Real Madrid, Wenger continued to monitor Odegaard’s development.

“I was worried about Martin. I think he lost a bit of his creative attitude. Creativity stagnated.

“After he came to Arsenal, he has found his creativity back. He plays amazingly well and masters everything in the game. He is complete, I like him in every way in the game. Defensive and offensive.

“He makes decisions quickly, and always optimally. It is remarkable! I like him and the way he makes football look so easy.

“He has developed very well. It’s really amazing. His decisions, he is also a leader in the team. You see that Norway is now getting more top-class players, and I hope they can do well internationally in the years to come.”

High praise from Wenger. And richly deserved by Martin.

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C.B.

Weird he didn’t make it at Real Madrid, so much talent.

But delighted he didn’t, I can see him being our captain and playmaker for many seasons to come. Great player!!!

Jasonissimo

Modric ahead of him in the team, it’s not that weird.

TakeHERO Tommy

I think it’s pretty weird to have someone with that mindset and talent not turning the manager’s head in training. Isco, Valverde also got playing time over him. Then again, De Bruyne got ignored at Chelsea so it happens

Heavenly Chapecoense

Odegaard is a Wengerballer. It shows when he plays.

Jasonissimo

The return of Le Prof has taken the feel-good factor up to 11. Forthcoming updates at Ashburton Grove honoring him are long overdue.

Mike_14

He can assist he can score, magic touch since he was born
Norwegian superstar, Odegaard in red and white
Number 8 he leads the way, watch the unreal taking place!

Peter Cechs helmet

Reading between the lines I think Wenger quite likes him.

TXC

You might be onto something but I don’t know if he likes him a little bit or a lot.

Ebo

It’s entirely in the subtext though, you’ve a keen observational sense my friend, Arsene barely gave it away. Chapeau.

findmeasanti

23!

chepetin

24!

Thierry Bergkamp (Non negotiable)

If Sir Arsene compares you to Fabregas, you’ve definitely done something right

Fabulous

Young Fabregas specifically. Wenger chose his words well, not to acknowledge anything Fabregas did at the Bridge.

Teryima Adi

Odegaard is class.

Jesus of Sao Paulo

I love it that Wenger likes ME!
He’s a blend of all of Wenger’s creative midfielders in one body: the creative mind of Cesc Fabregas, the vision of Mesut Özil, the aggressiveness of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky’s eye for goal. Finally we got the complete midfielder that we’ve been looking for since 2004! Let’s kick some ass shall we!

Jesus of Sao Paulo

Not ME but MØ. Fk auto correct

¶aulson

“I am so gladddd that Wenger likes ME”

You forgot Carzola so soon?

wakawaka-yea-yea

I like your comment, would say more the ball control of Mesut Ozil, vision, passing and leadership of Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere’s aggressiveness, work rate and box-to-box off the ball running of Aaron Ramsey.

gooner

Another great player that Wenger almost signed!

Nacho de Montreal is tasty

Did he talk to Mbappe too?

Master Floda

He did indeed try to sign him after his debut season in Monaco.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

it is known.

A Different George

To be fair, Wenger said he wanted to sign him, not that he came close. The fact that he went to Real tells you he was not a secret that only we had discovered.

John

Norway are going to win the world Cup, aren’t they? That beast up front, out man behind and everyone else playing defence. 🙂

Eric Blair

They will have to qualify first!

Nzini

No-way that’s happening

Cliff Bastin

Give Wenger home tickets for life.

Santi’s Thigh Grab

He works for FIFA, Arsene doesn’t worry about money.

Giddygun

To a stadium he practically built for Arsenal?

Matt

I also like him in every way

Bill Hall

He is Santi mk 2 although I don’t think he is two-footed, correct me if I am wrong

Boff

Correct

Aleksander Włodarz

Papa has spoken…Martin, he’s a good playa… are we dreaming, as it all seems like a dream? 😍

Gabigol

The international remark would really boost Martins confidence as a player and belief that Arsenal can help him to his heartfelt love of his country and their development.

I wonder if he could be a coach one day

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