Thomas Partey admits Martin Odegaard is difficult to play against, and it’s amazing to have the Real Madrid midfielder in North London.
Martin Odegaard is still waiting for his first start after his loan move to Arsenal in the January transfer window, but Thomas Partey expects him to have a big impact when he does get a proper opportunity.
The pair have played directly against each other in competitive matches before, facing off as recently as the final game of last season. Partey admits it wasn’t an easy task to battle Odegaard as a defensive midfielder.
“It’s difficult when you play against him,” Partey said. “I remember playing against him, he’s so intelligent, he is always quick on the ball, he doesn’t give you a chance to win the ball.
“It’s amazing to have him here. I hope he has a great season and he’s able to help us achieve what we want to achieve.”
We’ve seen glimpses of what Odegaard can do in his substitute appearances. He played an excellent through ball to Nicolas Pepe against Aston Villa, and he was involved in a couple of moves around the penalty area almost leading to goals.
The 22-year-old needed to show a bit more composure when one chance fell his way towards the end of the match, but perhaps that’s just the kind of rustiness he needs to shake off after playing just 367 minutes in the first half of the season.
After a bit of a break this week, things are going to get busy for Arsenal with the Europa League returning. Odegaard will surely get further chances on the pitch, so it’s up to him to prove Partey’s assessment right.