Darren Bent has completely changed his mind about £31m Arsenal player
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Darren Bent has completely changed his mind about £31m Arsenal player

Darren Bent says he was underwhelmed when Arsenal bought Martin Odegaard but he has completely changed his mind now.

Odegaard netted the second goal of the Gunners’ 2-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday afternoon as they went eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

In August 2021, Arsenal bought Odegaard for 35 million euros (£31 million) as per the Athletic, after a six-month loan spell.

Bent told TalkSPORT that move did not inspire him but he has a totally different opinion on the playmaker now.

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Bent on Odegaard

Bent was asked whether Odegaard is better now than Mesut Ozil was in his prime and said: “Ozil was unbelievable. I know it ended awfully but him and Alexis Sanchez used to do things which were frightening.

“Odegaard, I wouldn’t say he is better in terms of talent but in terms of consistency, he has been head and shoulders (above). Turns up in big games, scores in big games, always contributes something.

“His goal was a fantastic strike. When you look at importance of players, Partey would be at the top and Odegaard is close right now.

“A lot of people raised eyebrows when they brought him back after his loan spell, a lot of eyebrows were raised, myself included. I was a bit underwhelmed and I thought ‘really?’ but this is why Arteta deserves a lot of credit. He’s brought him back and he’s been fantastic.”

People have said similar things about Aaron Ramsdale, and those sentiments feel more understandable given he came to Arsenal on the back of two straight relegations.

It is hard to see why Bent would not have rated the signing of Odegaard. His loan spell went well and he is a young playmaker with all the talent in the world and such a mature head on his shoulders.

This one does not seem as much a case of a player exceeding expectations and more like Bent just getting his initial assessment way off.

Odegaard now has the chance to surpass anything Ozil achieved with Arsenal, and a key pillar of what Mikel Arteta has done at the club was getting the German out of the door.

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