Arsenal fans are beginning to see what Cristiano Ronaldo saw in Martin Odegaard six years ago.
In the January transfer window, the Norway international joined the Gunners on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season and has made an impressive start to his career in north London.
Odegaard opened his account for Arsenal in the Europa League last-16 first-leg win over Olympiacos and followed that up with his first Premier League goal three days later – against Tottenham nonetheless.
And following his “incredible” performance as the Gunners came from 3-0 down to earn a point against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon, it’s safe to say he is beginning to fulfil his potential.
Just like a certain Mr. Cristiano Ronaldo predicted after the pair trained together at Real Madrid for the first time in 2014.
“Great player, I think he’s a young boy, he can still grow. He’s 16 years old, right? So he has a good future ahead,” Ronaldo said. “We must give him time to learn, to take his best decisions.
“But I see a lot of potential in the player, good left foot.”
Ronaldo is not the only high-profile name in the game to have spoken so highly of Odegaard – Erling Haaland and Pep Guardiola have too – and perhaps explains why head coach Mikel Arteta is keen to add him to the Gunners’ squad permanently.
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As reported by football.london, Arsenal are keen on keeping Odegaard with further talks planned with Real Madrid at the end of the season.
“I think he had an incredible performance, he was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he affected the game and again he showed how much he wants to win,” Arteta said after the West Ham draw. “When everyone was a little bit trembling, he gave us that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.
“I love talented and creative players that all the time are willing to take that ball and make things happen, that are mobile and also hard-working. He is one of them.
“We have some others with different qualities but it’s true that Martin is now giving us a different level on certain things that we didn’t have.”