Tuesday, July 16, 2024

“He’s loved by everybody” – Arteta delighted by Odegaard contract extension

After tying down Martin Odegaard to a new contract, Mikel Arteta says it’s “an absolute joy” to work with the Norway international on a day-to-day basis and that his number 8 shouldn’t put a ceiling on his potential.

In many respects, the 24-year-old midfielder has come to symbolise Arsenal’s renaissance under the Spaniard. He’s improved year-on-year since signing from Real Madrid and completely embedded himself in the culture of the club as a steely but low-key captain.

Having spent time on loan at Arteta’s boyhood club, Real Sociedad, the pair appear to have a connection that goes deeper than most player-manager relationships. It’s said they often communicate in Spanish when talking privately.

Having already rewarded other key squad members with new long-term contracts, it seemed only a matter of time before Odegaard picked up a well-deserved pay rise.

Arteta is clearly delighted to have the loyalty of his star man.

“Martin signing a new long-term contract is such good news for everyone connected with Arsenal,” he told Arsenal.com.

“He is our captain and a hugely respected person at our club, who is a great role model and professional, bringing quality and maturity in everything he does. On the pitch, as everyone has seen, Martin is a young player of top quality who consistently contributes at a such a high level.

“As a manager, working with Martin the person and the player is an absolute joy, and it’s great that after experiencing a number of clubs already in his career, he is now settled and really feels at home at Arsenal. We all look forward to continuing our journey with Martin in the years to come.”

In his pre-Sp*rs press conference, he added: “It just shows as well that there are many ways to make it [to the top], there are many pathways to arrive where you want and at the end, it’s about finding a place where you feel comfortable, where you feel valued and you can express your talent. I think he’s found that place, he’s loved by everybody, respected by everybody and he fully deserves what he’s doing.”

Having been on an upward trajectory since he arrived in London, the question is how much better can Odegaard get? Arteta doesn’t want the Norwegian, or any of his players, to put a limit on their ambitions.

“I think they don’t have to be looking for a ceiling,” said the manager. “I think they have to try to be better every single day, being humble enough to admit that there is still a big room for them.

Having tied down many of his key players to long-term deals, the manager also believes the collective can make individuals stronger.

“One thing is what you can do individually every single day, which I think he does, and the other thing is obviously the contribution to all the players that you have around you,” he said.

“When you have players that have the quality to make you better, that’s a huge bonus. I think you are as good as your team and I think the players that he has around him obviously elevate his qualities and that’s why he’s better and better.

He added: “The club has done really well in the last two or three years to try to give us some consistency and try to maintain the talent that we have. And we are trying to develop to be consistently what we want to be. And that’s the objective, to keep maintaining that and improving the team.”

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Bill Hall

Club legend in the making!

Jimboslice

It feels like the majority of this squad are club legends in the making! What makes it even better is how humble they all are. No egotistical wankers.

Merlin’s Panini

Great news. It’s been nice to have a club captain who actually plays in recent seasons and shows such responsibility on the pitch. It seemed such a long time that we had bit part club captains like Vermaelen, Arteta himself, Mertesacker, and Koscielny, followed by (the totally not captain material) Auba. The aforementioned all had the right character and were the best people for the role but at times we could’ve done with that influence on the pitch more. For me, he’s our best captain since Cesc and probably even more suited to the role. So I could even extend… Read more »

Bobby

This guy is such a baller and a real Arsenal legend in the making. I honestly think he is the most important member of the squad, and has to be in the top three for that position in world football right now. And he’s all
ours. Or should I say all Arse.

Tricks Popsicle

‘Baller’? 🤔🤔🤔

OdalGooner

Future statue. PL trophy in one hand. CL trophy in the other. I don’t care if we come second in everything for the next five years, I just *love* being a Gooner right now. These lads… Arteta… North London Forever… it’s just such an unbelievable upward trajectory, and it’s a joy to be a part of. It’s a joy to walk into our pub an hour before kick-off, here in little Denmark, and 50-80 fellow Gooners are there. The atmosphere is brilliant, such a diverse crowd in every possible way, and I’m proud to sing with them, and to jump… Read more »

Tired-of-your-shit gooner

Which pub do you go to? Asking because I am also in Denmark 😀

Torterrier

I am guessing it’s the Southern Cross, or the Hop House, since I am also in Denmark, and those are the two that pull in such a large Arsenal crowd.

1970Gooner

If we get Ivan Toney in January we are really cooking on gas – I think he could be the one major improvement we need, to give us that 25 – 30 goals a season striker we lack at the moment. I know goals are not usually a problem for us but someone like Toney would give an extra dimension to our game.

Okester

If he can just stop backing the ponies…

1970Gooner

Yeah – hope he’s learnt his lesson.

Tapps

…and maybe stop betting on the football too.

A Different George

Yeah, I wouldn’t bet on it.

I Like Ebøue-bøue

His mentality, his personality, his thoughtful approach captaincy, his technicality and his game-changing ability. I’m so pleased that he’s our captain and so pleased that he’s committed the next four years of his stellar career to the club.

Eric Blair

Arteta and Ode have together finally solved the Captain’s Curse.

A Different George

His “ceiling,” I think, is that by the end of his career he will be thought one of the great players of his generation.

Dinosauras

We have Martin, they have Bruno.

Mark

What great news and what a boost before the derby tomorrow. Have to give the club owners and management huge credit for all of the key contract renewals taken care of this past year tying down so many key players for many years which is a big a commitment as they’ve made in the transfer market the last few years. The future is so bright with this group.

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