Martin Odegaard’s display against West Ham has been labelled by some supporters as the best performance by an Arsenal playmaker since Mesut Ozil’s masterclass against Leicester in October 2018. The Norwegian continued his rich vein of form despite the scoreline to show Arsenal what they’ve been missing since Ozil fell out of favour.
“He had an incredible performance,” Mikel Arteta said after the game. “I think he was very intelligent, the way he read the game. He showed how much he wants to win. When everybody was trembling, he gave us that stability and composure on the ball.
“I love talented and creative players who are willing to make things happen. It’s true that Martin is giving us a different level in certain things we didn’t have.”
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan made it clear he would welcome the signing of the 22-year-old this summer on a permanent basis.
He tweeted: “This guy just put in a better performance than we saw from Ozil in the past 5yrs. Serious talent, terrific work ethic, great mentality. We need to sign him permanently.”
The team was built around him on all three ventures and that privilege was taken away from him at Real Madrid, when he soon became a small fish in a big pond once again.
Odegaard made the bold and brave decision to push for a loan move away from Real Madrid in January and now that has paid dividends for him.
He now feels valued by his club and Arteta and although Real Madrid are yet to decide whether he will stay next season, Norway’s new captain seems set on joining Arsenal.
In a recent interview with BT Sport, he admitted that the Emirates Stadium already feels like home whilst dropping a hint that he’s thinking ahead to next season.
“I have felt at home since the first day, I am happy to be here and I feel great so I’m very pleased to be a part of the team,” he said.
“It is just half-time. We have to keep going. We have a big game on Saturday and then have to be ready for next Thursday.
“It is very important, we are not where we want to be in the league so this is very important for us and a chance to get Champions League football next year.”
Ultimately though, it’s Real Madrid who hold all the cards when it comes to keeping Odegaard.
His fine form with Arsenal could see them drive up his price-tag, while there has been some suggestion they could keep him in an attempt to lure Erling Haaland to the Bernabeu.
It’s clear that Arsenal would love to make the deal permanent at the end of the season, funds permitting.
Fellow midfielder Mohamed Elneny recently highlighted the impact of Odegaard both on the field and in the dressing room.
“You always see him coaching players, outside of the dressing room as well. He talks all the time about the game and what we are going to do. He has the personality to be a captain,” Elneny told AGTV.
When asked if the Arsenal squad would like to keep him, the Eygptian added: “we wish, we wish, we wish”.