Martin Odegaard has quickly become a go-to man at the Emirates Stadium – dispelling the school of thought that Arsenal are too reliant on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for goals.
Having joined on loan from Spanish giants Real Madrid towards the back end of the January transfer window, the 22-year-old Norway captain has thrived in the Premier League.
Scoring his first two goals for the club in crucial back-to-back victories against Olympiakos and arch North London rivals Tottenham, Ogegaard has since been named as Arsenal’s player of the month for March.
He follows Brazilian defender Gabriel and Bukayo Saka as one of only three winners of the prize this season.
And in doing so, the Norwegian playmaker – who is set to return from international duty ahead of Saturday night’s crunch meeting with Liverpool (8pm) – has proved two high-profile pundits wrong.
However, the Gunners’ captain only hit the net once in March as Mikel Arteta’s side were able to pick up positive results nonetheless.
Speaking in December, Ferdinand said: “What’s going on with you lot [Arsenal] over there?
“You’re lacking consistency. You’re searching for goals. There’s not goals in the team. When Aubameyang doesn’t bang, nobody else seems to be stepping up, that’s the problem.
In each football.london bulletin, we’ll bring you the latest breaking news, transfer features and comment pieces on your favourite club, as well as the key talking points for fans.
You won’t miss a thing – you’ll get all the news you need right to your inbox. We’ll also send special newsletters when big stories break or there’s a special event happening.
You can sign up for Arsenal updates here.
You can sign up for Chelsea updates here.
You can sign up for Tottenham updates here.
You can sign up for West Ham updates here.
“I love the way Arteta is bringing young players in and the young players have been performing, but you need the experienced players to drag you through a situation like this.
“Aubameyang was scoring goals, but this shows you how reliant this team is on Aubameyang. If he doesn’t score, then Arsenal aren’t the same team.”
Highlighting that perceived issue even before then, shortly after the departure of Unai Emery, record goalscorer Henry said: “Without the goals of Aubameyang, I don’t know where we would have been right now.
“All I know is that we are definitely going to miss his goals if he does leave. He does score goals and, if you take the goals of Aubameyang away, it’s a tough one.”