‘This is what we wanted’: Ian Wright raves about Arsenal star

Ian Wright singles out Martin Odegaard for special praise following his excellent recent form for Arsenal

Ian Wright
Arsenal legend Ian Wright (Photo: BT Sport)

Ian Wright has lavished praise on Martin Odegaard following his recent sparkling performances for Arsenal.

The Norwegian playmaker has been earning lots of praise for his displays for the north London side in recent weeks and he was picked as the man of the match in the 2-0 victory over Leicester City at the weekend.

Odegaard’s importance to the team has been increasing in recent months, and the 23-year-old has scored five goals and made three assists in 24 Premier League games so far this season.

The playmaker signed for Arsenal on a permanent deal last summer after having initially joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid.

Now, Arsenal legend Wright has expressed his delight at the way Odegaard has been performing in recent games, claiming that the midfielder has been bringing some “calm” to the side.

Speaking on Match of the Day at the weekend, Wright said: “There’s a calmness around the club and I think Odegaard in the way that he plays he’s one of the main reasons for that.

“For me the ‘playmaker’ is back. You know, the number 10 and the way that he’s playing. The way that he gets in those positions that he gets into but then it’s the calmness. Like I said, he doesn’t rush.

“This is what you want, this is what you want from a midfielder not just somebody that’s going to go sideways…it’s ‘bam’. All of a sudden [Alexandre] Lacazette gets half a second and he has a shot. That’s what he can start doing now because he’s getting a pass like that.

“This is what we wanted. This is what we wanted from [Mesut] Ozil. This is the type of play. This is nice play. It’s easy, simple movement.

“When you’ve got young players watching players like this [Odegaard] who has that type of ability, don’t get yourself in that physicality [physical battle] he gets himself on the periphery of everything and just keeps everything very simple. He has loads of space around him. That’s the confidence flowing through him.

“The thing with him is he’s incisive but he’s not too Hollywood. Look at his numbers, that’s what you want from your creative midfield players and that’s what we’re getting from him. So happy.”

Odegaard also earned praise from his manager Mikel Arteta after his fine performance in the win over Leicester City on Sunday.

Speaking about the playmaker after the game, Arteta said : “He was terrific again today in every aspect of the game, what he had to do in defending, when we were high, when we were deep, in build-up phases, in the final third, the way he understands and manages the game when needed.

“I think he’s come a long way since his arrival, he’s showing great maturity and responsibility on the pitch and he makes the other players better I think.”

Odegaard will be hoping to start when Arsenal host Liverpool FC in the Premier League at The Emirates on Wednesday night, as the Gunners look to cement their place in the top four.

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