Cesc Fabregas reveals what he thinks of Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard
Cesc Fabregas has admitted that he has been highly impressed by Martin Odegaard's recent form for Arsenal
Cesc Fabregas has praised the “intelligence” of Martin Odegaard following his solid form for Arsenal since having been made the north London club’s new captain.
Odegaard, 23, was handed the captain’s armband in the summer after Mikel Arteta named him as the club’s new permanent skipper following Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure.
The Norway international has been in solid form for the Gunners so far this season, scoring three goals in seven games in the Premier League and helping Arsenal to claim a 3-1 win over Tottenham in Saturday’s north London derby at The Emirates.
Fabregas was also handed the captain’s armband at The Emirates at a similar age – the Spaniard was appointed as skipper aged 21 by Arsene Wenger back in November 2008 – and the ex-Chelsea FC midfielder says he has been impressed by what he has seen of Odegaard lately.
“I really like his style, I like his intelligence, the way he moves and always finds pockets of space where you can make the difference in football these days,” Fabregas said on BT Sport, quoted by Metro, before Arsenal’s win over Spurs on Saturday. “He is very tricky and he has a good eye for the final ball.
“He also has a lot of responsibility, he was 15 when he made his debut for Norway, he is the captain of Norway, now a very young captain for Arsenal and he is responding very well. I am very happy for him, he reminds me a little of me when I took the armband at 21.”
Arsenal remain top of the Premier League table, after having taken 21 points from a possible 24 in their opening eight games of the new season.
However, Arsenal boss Arteta insisted after Saturday’s victory over Spurs that the Gunners are not getting carried away by their solid start to the campaign, with a game against FC Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League on Thursday set to be followed by a crunch clash against Liverpool FC next weekend in the Premier League at The Emirates.
“It’s great always looking at it [the table] and seeing the club where it is, in this position,” Arteta said at his post-match news conference on Saturday.
“It’s great, it gives you a great feeling obviously. But we are focused. It is a really hungry and humble team, believe me. We know where we are. There is nothing that we have done yet, and there are still a lot of things to improve, and that’s the direction that we are taking.”
Meanwhile, Fabregas also reserved special praise for Arsenal defender William Saliba following his impressive showing against Spurs on Saturday as he continued his fine start at The Emirates after three seasons away on loan in France.
The 21-year-old France international played the full 90 minutes of the derby clash and has started all eight of Arsenal’s Premier League games this term, scoring two goals and making one assist.
“It was a fantastic complete performance [by Arsenal],” Fabregas said after Saturday’s game. “I would like to just mention a special name but nobody really spoke about because he was so good.
“I think he made it look so easy that’s, William Saliba. This boy was in France for the last three years on loan.”
Fabregas added: “Potentially he could be Arsenal’s centre back for the next 15 or 20 years.”
Saliba’s performance also drew praise from former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who was alongside Fabregas for BT Sport‘s coverage of Saturday’s game.
The ex-England international admitted that he had been impressed by Saliba’s composure throughout the game and feels he has a bright future ahead of him.
Asked what impressed him most about Saliba, Ferdinand replied: “His composure. He’s very strong and mobile but he was the most composed centre-back on the pitch today, especially on Arsenal’s side.
“How many times did he come out with the ball when he was under pressure? He was calm and showed composure beyond his years.
“He had to be very patient (waiting three years for his debut with Arsenal) and showed character to go away and prove himself and he’s already become a little bit of a fan favourite.”