Mikel Arteta tells Martin Odegaard how to become a ‘complete player’

Martin Odegaard of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2021 in London, 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 hailed the improvement of Martin Odegaard during his loan spell at Arsenal and advised the Real Madrid star on how he can become a ‘complete player’.

It’s been a fine week for the Norway international. He was named as his country’s captain, while scoring decisive goals in wins over Olympiacos and Tottenham Hotspur.

It’s been reported that Arteta is keen on extending his time at the Emirates beyond this summer – either with a season-long loan in 2021/22 or a permanent transfer – and he heaped praise on the 22-year-old for how he has adapted to life in north London.

But one area of improvement the Arsenal manager would like to see from Odegaard is having more direct goal impacts – something he believes would make him a ‘complete player’.

‘He is getting better and better,’ said Arteta ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League second leg clash with Olympiacos. ‘I think his understanding of what we want is excellent.

‘His work rate has been phenomenal and then he’s doing something that, in my opinion, could improve a lot which is getting in the opponents’ box and maybe being more decisive in the scoreline.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on March 17, 2021 in St Albans, England.
Arteta gave his thoughts on Odegaard (Picture: Getty)

‘He is doing that with the two goals and he’s had some really important entries into the zones and he looks all the time really dangerous. If he adds that to his game, he becomes a real complete player.’

Arteta wasn’t surprised to see Norway hand him the captain’s armband and feels he ‘leads by example’.

‘I’m not surprised after sharing some time with him now. I’m not surprised at all,’ added Arteta.

‘He’s got this personality, he’s a really humble and easy-going guy but at the same time, he’s very, very professional and very dedicated. He leads by example, which normally a captain should do.’

Asked if Odegaard would benefit from more responsibilities, Arteta continued: ‘I don’t know. That’s a question for him. I just can just answer to what I’ve seen so far. I don’t know him for five years.

‘I don’t know how he reacts in many other scenarios but if I have to give an opinion right now, then it’s that he is more than prepared to take that role [of Norway captain].

‘I’ve been very positive and impressed with his human qualities as well.’

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