‘He’s growing in stature’: Martin Keown raves about Arsenal midfielder

Martin Keown has been impressed by Martin Odegaard's improved form for Arsenal in recent weeks

Martin Keown
Ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown (Photo: BT Sport)

Martin Keown has lavished praise on Martin Odegaard following his improved form for Arsenal in recent games.

The Norway international has been establishing himself as a regular fixture in the Arsenal team this season since having made his loan move from Real Madrid permanent in the summer transfer window.

The 23-year-old has scored four goals and made one assist in 16 Premier League games for the north London side, with three of those strikes coming in his last five appearances for the Gunners.

Odegaard produced a brilliant assist for Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Leeds United in the Premier League on Saturday night as the Gunners made it three wins on the spin in the English top flight.

Former Arsenal defender Keown admits that he was not the biggest fan of Odegaard following his initial loan spell at The Emirates, but he says he has been highly impressed by his improved performances in recent games.

Speaking on Match of the Day on Saturday evening, Keown said: “I will say that when he first came to the club, I was not his biggest fan, but I have to change that opinion now because he really is developing.

“You see that clever movement that he has to receive the ball, he was first-class in that Arsenal midfield.

“He’s growing in stature. His confidence is really high, the manager has backed him. For me he’s just getting better and better.”

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta revealed that right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu was brought off in the second half of the win at Elland Road as a precaution following a hectic fixture schedule.

Asked about the Japan international’s substitution in the 63rd minute, Arteta said after the game: “It was more of a muscular injury. He’s got a big load on him because he’s played every single minute since he’s joined us and even this week he’s been struggling a little bit.

“We decided to take him off, he wasn’t 100 per cent confident to continue in the game, and hopefully he’s not injured.”

Arsenal will return to League Cup action with their quarter-final tie against Sunderland at The Emirates on Tuesday night.

MORE: Latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his League Cup prediction for Arsenal v Liverpool FC
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand praises Man United star ‘head and shoulders’ above team-mates
Gossip
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba tells Man United he wants to join Real Madrid this summer - report
Gossip
Bukayo Saka
Steve McManaman plays down Liverpool FC hopes of signing Arsenal star Bukayo Saka
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano gives fresh update on Arsenal's bid to sign Arthur Melo
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his League Cup prediction for Arsenal v Liverpool FC
Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand praises Man United star ‘head and shoulders’ above team-mates
Gossip
Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba tells Man United he wants to join Real Madrid this summer - report
Gossip
Bukayo Saka
Steve McManaman plays down Liverpool FC hopes of signing Arsenal star Bukayo Saka
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano gives fresh update on Arsenal's bid to sign Arthur Melo
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature