‘He’s such a talent’: Mikel Arteta raves about new Arsenal loan signing

Mikel Arteta admits that he has been "really impressed" by Martin Odegaard following his loan move to Arsenal

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Mikel Arteta has admitted that he has been “really impressed” by Martin Odegaard and he is looking forward to seeing the impact he can have at Arsenal.

The Norway international signed for the Gunners on a six-month loan deal last week from Real Madrid and he could make his debut for the north London side when they take on Manchester United on Sunday.

The 22-year-old will be hoping to make a significant impact at The Emirates as he bids to hold down a regular spot in Arteta’s team and help the Gunners challenge for a top-four finish.

Odegaard has only made nine appearances in all competitions so far this season, and Arteta is looking forward to seeing the impact he could have at The Emirates.

Speaking in an interview quoted by Arsenal’s website, Arteta said: “He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we need, that we have been missing.

“Now we have to give him a little bit of time. He hasn’t played that many minutes in Madrid but he’s been training hard and he looks so excited, as we are, to have another big talent at our club.

“I think in the last few seasons he’s progressed and developed in the right way. I’ve followed him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad, which is my home town. I know him really well.

“I’ve been really impressed. He’s a such a talent. He needs the right environment, he needs a little bit of time but I think he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”

Asked about where Odegaard can fit into his team, Arteta responded: “He’s a specialist to play in the pockets, to play in the No 8 or 10 positions. He can play off the sides.

“He’s a really creative player who’s really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces.

“He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals. Something that he has improved a lot is his work-rate without the ball as well, so it’s another option to give us more creativity for sure in the final third, and give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.”

Arsenal are preparing to welcome Manchester United to The Emirates in their next Premier League clash on Saturday evening.

The Gunners have been in good form in recent weeks and have won four of their last five outings in the top flight to lift them up the table.

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