Alex Scott ripped into Martin Odegaard for his performance against Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium yesterday (Sky Sports).
The Norwegian played 90 minutes as the Gunners were beaten 1-0 after Raheem Sterling’s goal inside the opening two minutes.
Odegaard was given the nod ahead of Emile Smith Rowe, with the Hale End graduate having to settle for a place on the bench.
The 22-year-old is still adapting to life in the Premier League having joined Arsenal on loan during the January transfer window.
Scott was on the panel for yesterday’s live coverage and wasn’t overly convinced by Odegaard’s contribution.
The pundit told Sky Sports: “Today you look at Odegaard, for me, he was bang average. And so, you question the decision actually with Smith Rowe not being selected ahead of him.
“I think we’re going to see Odegaard’s real qualities over the next couple of weeks. Is he good enough to be in this starting eleven at Arsenal? Or actually, is this loan period going to be a short one?”
TBR View: Odegaard will need time to adapt at Arsenal
It’s now five games without a goal contribution for the Norway international – but alarm bells shouldn’t be ringing just yet.
The £85,000-a-week marvel has arrived in North London with very little football to his name this season and it’ll take time.
Alex Scott is right to suggest his performance wasn’t his best yesterday but there’s no real need for panic to set in.
Mikel Arteta has proved himself as a manager who is willing to give younger players the chance to shine in his team.
As a result, Odegaard can bank on plenty of match action between now and the end of the season.
As one of Europe’s top talents, he shouldn’t be discounted on the back of a mediocre start.
He netted seven goals and claimed nine assists for Real Sociedad last season and he’ll hope to have a say in Arsenal’s fortunes as the season progresses.