Mikel Arteta thinks 'exceptional' Martin Odegaard can still improve in four areas
The Norwegian joined Arsenal back in 2021, initially on loan. He had a decent spell but didn’t really set the stage on fire. That prompted many pundits to urge Arteta to not sign him, but the Spaniard ignored everyone.
Arsenal made Odegaard’s deal permanent in the summer of 2021, and he has been magnificent since.
Mikel Arteta thinks Martin Odegaard can still improve in four areas
One of Odegaard’s biggest criticisms, since he joined Arsenal, was that he doesn’t score enough goals. The Norwegian has definitely silenced those critics this season.
The 24-year-old has scored six times in the Premier League so far this term – no Arsenal player has managed more. He is one of the biggest reasons why the Gunners are on top of the Premier League table, but Arteta feels he can get so much better.
The Spaniard raved about Odegaard’s attitude and willingness to learn before claiming there are four areas he can better in – physicality, dribbling, passing and crossing.
Arteta said, as per HaytersTV: “I was hoping he can show all the talents that he has. His attitude, his willingness to learn and his application is always incredible. When you have those ingredients, normally good things happen.
“Martin is in a really good moment, he’s defining games, he’s having a different kind of presence on the pitch and I really like what he’s doing.
“(He’s a) Very different player to Kevin (De Bruyne), similar position but very different qualities to those. Martin is exceptional at what he does and he needs to still grow in many areas, he knows that and he’s willing to do that.
“He can be much better, physically he can still improve in many areas, I think the way he can drive with the ball and eliminate people more, his crossing and passing range can still be better.”
Odegaard has been around for a long, long time and that makes many people forget he only just turned 24.
The Norwegian is a sensational player. He’s already up there with the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League, but he’s nowhere near his prime just yet.
That makes him a scary prospect for opponents but a really exciting one for Arsenal fans. Odegaard is already helping them challenge for the title, and if he continues to develop in the same way, there’s a good chance he’ll help them win a few in the coming years.
Arsenal take on Brighton this evening and Odegaard is almost guaranteed to start. If he has a good game, the Gunners will likely come away with a win.
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