Mikel Arteta sends message to Arsenal fans about Martin Odegaard
Mikel Arteta praises Martin Odegaard for the impact he has had at Arsenal so far this season
Mikel Arteta has praised Martin Odegaard for the impact he has had at Arsenal since his loan move from Real Madrid in January.
The Norway international joined the Gunners on a six-month loan deal from the Spanish club as Arteta moved to bolster his creative midfield options.
Odegaard has been a regular fixture in the first team since his move to The Emirates, with the 22-year-old having notched up nine appearances in all competitions since his move.
The attacking midfielder opened his account for Arsenal in style when he netted a brilliant opening goal in the Gunners’ 3-1 victory over Olympiakos in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Arteta has been delighted by what he has seen from Odegaard so far in an Arsenal shirt and he has been impressed by his impact.
Speaking at his post-match news conference on Thursday, Arteta said of Odegaard: “He helps us to do the processes much better. He helps us as a team because he gives us a lot of continuity on the ball.
“He’s really intelligent to find the spaces, he attracts a lot of opponents. We ask him to score goals, to arrive in the box.
“Today, he scored a brilliant goal and his contribution was really important for the team.”
It was not only Odegaard that Arteta was pleased with, and he heaped praise on Willian who claimed his seventh assist of the campaign – more than any other Arsenal player.
“I think he was really good again tonight,” Arteta said. “I wanted to give him some continuity because he deserves it. He’s training really well.
“Another assist and then Elneny, he’s been practising those shots from outside the box with Roundy and today he got his rewards. I’m really happy with the subs as well, the way they came on.”
Odegaard will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners return to Premier League action with a crunch home clash against derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The north London side will then host Olympiakos in the return leg of their Europa League last-16 clash on Thursday night.