Mikel Arteta gives blunt reply when asked if Martin Odegaard is ‘too good’ for Arsenal

Mikel Arteta gives blunt reply when asked if Martin Odegaard is 'too good' for Arsenal
The Gunners are hoping to secure a permanent deal for the playmaker (Pictures: Getty / YouTube)

Mikel Arteta has refused to be drawn into a debate over whether Martin Odegaard should be playing at a higher level than Arsenal after club legend Ian Wright claimed he was ‘too good’ for the Gunners.

The Norwegian playmaker moved to the Emirates on loan from Real Madrid in January and has delivered a number of excellent displays, notably netting in the north London derby against Tottenham and playing a pivotal role in the comeback against West Ham.

Odegaard’s performances have been so good that ninth-placed Arsenal are already exploring the possibility of turning his loan move into a permanent stay, though any fee is likely to exceed £40million.

Martin Odegaard Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Odegaard has delivered a number of exceptional performances (Picture: Getty)

Wright has been raving about Odegaard ever since he arrived in north London but in an appearance on Norway’s TV2 last weekend he suggested the 22-year-old was out of Arsenal’s league.

‘When you see where Arsenal are in the table and what level he is, why would he come to a place like Arsenal? He’s much better than that,’ said the former Gunners striker.

Wright’s comments were put to Arteta at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Slavia Prague in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday night, and he treated the remarks with a flat bat.

‘Ian Wright recently said on Norwegian television that Martin Odegaard is too good for Arsenal and should play at a higher level – what’s your opinion on this?’ asked the reporter.

Arteta seemed a little taken back by the question and asked the journalist to repeat it before laughing and replying bluntly: ‘[My opinion is] that I really enjoy having Martin with us in the team.’

Arteta was asked about the possibility and logistics of signing both Odegaard and fellow Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos permanently and he confirmed that talks with the Spanish giants would be explored at the end of the season.

The Spanish coach explained: ‘Well with the financial position that we’ve been in obviously we had to find different ways to try to recruit good players to the club.

‘And as well it gives you the possibility to see with close eyes on a daily basis how those players can improve the team and how they can adapt to this league.

Mikel Arteta gives blunt reply when asked if Martin Odegaard is 'too good' for Arsenal
Arteta would love to keep Odegaard at the club permanently (Picture: Getty)

‘In both cases I’m really happy with both of them and it’s a decision that has to be decided at the end of the season because there is [another] club involved, in this case it’s the same club involved which owns both of them. And I will have these conversations.’

Arteta was also asked about Odegaard being named Norway captain and replied: ‘He was very proud and I’m very proud for him to achieve that because I think he merits his character and what he’s doing here, so really happy for him.’

MORE : Arsenal provide injury updates on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe

MORE : Mikel Arteta confirms Folarin Balogun is ‘very close’ to signing new contract

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments