Rio Ferdinand: What I think about reports of Martin Odegaard joining Arsenal
Rio Ferdinand reacts to reports of Arsenal completing a loan deal to sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid
Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he is “worried” that Arsenal’s move to sign Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on loan could hamper Emile Smith Rowe’s growth in the Gunners team.
The Gunners are believed to be on the verge of completing a deal to bring Odegaard to The Emirates from Real Madrid after apparently beating off competitions from the likes of Real Sociedad and Ajax.
The 22-year-old’s move is reportedly set to be completed in the coming days and he could be ready to make his debut for the Gunners when Arsenal host Manchester United on Saturday.
Smith Rowe, 20, has been earning lots of praise for his performances in the Arsenal team since breaking into contention under Mikel Arteta in recent weeks.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand believes that Odegaard has undoubted potential, but he is worried that his move may come at the expense of Smith Rowe’s development at The Emirates.
Speaking in an interview quoted by Metro, Ferdinand said: “I’ve heard about this kid for a long time now. He had a good loan spell in Spain at Sociedad and did really well.
“He’s got potential, 100 per cent. It’s about Mikel Arteta unlocking that.
“I think this kid is a talent, there’s no doubting that. But he’s got to find a home now. Hopefully at Arsenal.
“I want him to do well. Arteta had a reputation when he was at City and now here at Arsenal for getting the best out of young players, hopefully that follows true with this player.
“That’s the only thing that worries me. If he comes in and takes someone like Emile Smith Rowe’s position, I’ll be devastated.
“Because he’s come in and done unreal things. The way he’s played, he’s been a breath of fresh air at Arsenal, I’m sure the fans if they were there would be going crazy about him.
“He brings assists, he brings a calmness to the way Arsenal play. He’s the type of player who could have played over a number of generations at Arsenal in the way he plays football.
“So I hope he doesn’t come in and kind of stunt his growth in the team because he’s been really good the last few weeks.”
Arsenal will host Manchester United at The Emirates in their next Premier League game on Saturday lunchtime.
The north London side will then travel to Wolves in their next top-flight clash on Tuesday 2 February.