Mikel Arteta rates Martin Odegaard’s start to Arsenal career

Martin Odegaard of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium on February 28, 2021 in Leicester, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Odegaard has impressed Arteta (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta insists he is ‘really happy’ with how Martin Odegaard has settled into life at Arsenal even if he hasn’t always shown his best qualities in games.

The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder has attracted criticism from some former Arsenal legends for his lack of impact to date.

Martin Keown, the former Gunners centre-back, said he shouldn’t be in the team ahead of academy graduate Emile Smith Rowe.

Keown’s former team-mate Nigel Winterburn, meanwhile, suggested he had ‘not done enough’ during the first few months of his loan spell.

Arsenal manager Arteta sees the picture rather differently and has been impressed by how the 22-year-old has conducted himself since arriving at the Emirates in January.

And he hailed his attitude and workrate as ‘phenomenal’ as Arsenal consider whether they will extend his stay beyond this season.

Arsenal's Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (L) gets instructions from Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) as he comes on as a substitute during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 30, 2021. (
Arteta had his say on Odegaard’s performances (Picture: AFP via Getty)

‘I’m really happy with him,’ said Arteta ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Olimpiacos.

‘I think he has settled really, really quickly within the team, with what we demand of the players.

‘His behaviour, his attitude, his workrate has been phenomenal.

‘He has had better moments than others during games to give us the special qualities he has.

‘But overall I am really happy with him.’

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