Martin Odegaard will sit out Norway’s upcoming matches with the Faroe Islands and Scotland as he continues his recovery from an injury sustained 11 days ago in Arsenal training.
The 24-year-old has had to sit out three Gunners matches in quick succession but is expected to return to action when we travel to Brentford on 25 November.
Prior to picking up his current issue, the midfielder had been rested for the 5-0 win over Sheffield United before scoring off the bench late in the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham.
While Solbakken refused to go into the specifics of Odegaard’s injury, he gave enough details to allay any fears that it was serious.
“We have actually known for quite some time that Martin would not come,” he told TV2.
“But this had to be coordinated with Arsenal, and even though they tried lately to get him healthy and ready, we were pretty sure that it wouldn’t work.
“He will have an individual training programme for a few days now, so we hope he will come and watch the Faroe Islands match and be with us all Friday. At least that is the plan.”
“The club is so reserved [on the details of the injury], so I don’t know how much to say about it but I have known enough that I have never really planned to have Martin here.
“When it became clear early in the week that he probably wouldn’t make it, we haven’t planned with him.
Pressed further, he lightheartedly added: “I can put it this way, that it is a very common football injury from which you will probably recover very well and which is not career-threatening. So he will play many more international matches for Norway.”
Elsewhere, Italy boss Luciano Spalletti has confirmed that Jorginho required stitches to his head following Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Burnley.
Despite the knock, which forced him off deep into stoppage time, the 31-year-old was keen to join up with his country having not been selected on the last two occasions.
In a press conference on Monday, Spalletti said: “Jorginho has stitches in his head from his last game. I think it was the first time he went for a header in his career. We need him for his feet anyway. I couldn’t wait to call Jorginho because of what he told me the first time we spoke and the messages he sent. He’s always been determined to return.”
He added: “He always had the desire to be part of this team and this is crucial. I had spoken to him and he expressed his affection for this shirt and this colours.
“Now he is playing regularly [for Arsenal] and I think he is getting in shape. He is the Regista who tells the team where to go. He was named Arsenal’s captain. There are positive signals that led up to this decision. He was never excluded from the group.”
Italy are currently 3rd in Euro 2024 qualification Group C, and are in desperate need of wins against North Macedonia and Ukraine.