‘Magnificent coup’ – Ian Wright excited by Arsenal’s deal for Real Madrid midfielder Martin Odegaard

Ian Wright says Martin Odegaard is 'exactly what Arsenal need'
Ian Wright says Martin Odegaard is ‘exactly what Arsenal need’ (Pictures: Getty)

Ian Wright has praised Arsenal’s imminent deal for Martin Odegaard and says the Real Madrid midfielder is ‘exactly’ what his former club need.

Mikel Arteta is set to bring Odegaard, 22, to the Emirates on loan until the end of the season.

The Norway international was signed by Real Madrid at the age of 16 but has only made eight league appearances for the Spanish giants since 2015.

Despite failing to force his way into the Real first-team, Odegaard has impressed during his loan spells, most recently making 36 appearances for Real Sociedad last season.

Odegaard will hope to enhance his reputation at Premier League club Arsenal and club legend Wright believes the deal is a ‘magnificent coup’ for the Gunners.

Wright also hopes the arrival of Odegaard does not deter Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe, who is enjoying a breakthrough season in north London.

Speaking on the Wrighty’s House podcast, he said: ‘With Odegaard, he’s the player we need. We need that guy to back up Emile Smith Rowe.

Wright hopes Emile Smith Rowe is not deterred by the arrival of Odegaard
Wright hopes Emile Smith Rowe is not deterred by the arrival of Odegaard (Picture: Getty)

‘I’m hoping it doesn’t make Emile feel like, “oh no, I’m just getting my motor revved up and this is happening”.

‘You have to always think the club is getting ready to replace you. I played every week thinking Arsenal are going to bring someone else in, you have to play like that because it will drive you on in training.

‘You have to say with his journey at Real Madrid and the loan spells, if he can come across and start to play to his potential in the Premier League, then Real Madrid have really hit the jackpot with the move to Arsenal.

‘All of a sudden all of that promise becomes a £40m player, bang. For Arsenal, they want that creativity from Odegaard, Smith Rowe and Saka.

‘I think it’s a magnificent coup, it’s exactly what we need.

‘I’m looking at Kai Havertz, you see [Mesut] Ozil is moving on, he [Odegaard] seems to have the same physique as those guys.

‘What I’ve seen of him, he’s left-foot looks really good. The only question is is he ready for us, is he ready for the Premier League?’

Arsenal continued their revival under Arteta with a 3-1 victory over Southampton on Tuesday night.

Stuart Armstrong gave the Saints an early lead at St Mary’s but goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette saw Arsenal come from behind to win and climb to eighth in the Premier League.

Arteta dedicated the victory to club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed the fixture for ‘personal reasons’.

‘I loved how they support each other and how they protect each other,’ Arteta said. ‘Auba is having a difficult time and we are all behind him. This win was for him.’

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