Martin Odegaard is one of the main reasons Arsenal are starting to win again, according to to Sport in Spain.
When Martin Odegaard decided to leave Real Madrid for Arsenal on a permanent basis, some Spanish publications were quick to criticise him for refusing to stay and fight for a place in the Real Madrid starting lineup.
Six years waiting was, for them, apparently not enough.
As the Spaniards chopped and changed their manager, however, Odegaard’s chances never really improved. Even this summer, when he left Arsenal, Real Madrid were making all the right noises only to decide they didn’t really want him that much after all.
Mikel Arteta, however, really wanted him.
Now Odegaard is an Arsenal player, some in the Spanish media are starting to see a good player begin to blossom as he finds stability and a chance to build a career after more than half a decade being shipped out on loan around Europe.
“Martin Odegaard is already comfortable at Arsenal,” Sport wrote.
“Since he arrived, directly from a Real Madrid in which he did not see himself as a starter, he has played every game in the Premier League for the ‘Gunner’ team. He only missed the defeat against Chelsea, because he had just landed in London and the League Cup match against Brentford, because he was playing for his national team.
“Always as a starter, the Norwegian has chained the last two complete games, both with victory, and in the last against Burnley the victory was chosen by him. A goal, his first with the Arsenal shirt, which served to make the three points fly from Turf Moor to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal already has three victories in a row, two in the Premier League and one in the League Cup and that Odegaard is one of the main culprits of this.”
Along with Aaron Ramsdale, Odegaard was the key difference between Arsenal and Burnley on Saturday and the Norway international has been speaking about how excited he is to be at Arsenal.
“I feel good here and at home and I am really excited to be part of this club and part of the project, excited by the future,” Odegaard told the Evening Standard.
“I believe in this team. Even though we lost some games in the beginning, I had the same faith and belief.
“We are a young team, but we showed character [against Burnley]. It is not easy to play this kind of game. I think we did really well.
“It was kind of a war in the end. We know their strength and we played their game a little bit more than our own game.
“We controlled the game a bit better, but in the second half they played their game and they are good at it.
“We had to be a bit smarter and keep the ball when we won it, but again we fought well and won. It was not beautiful, but a crucial game and important to get the win.”
When Odegaard rocked up at Arsenal for half a season, he found the back of the net twice, while also grabbing two assists, in 29 games.
This season, after just four matches, he’s already half way to that tally, his goal against Burnley the pick of the three he has scored for the club.
Despite Spurs fans posting pictures of their side at the top of the table with Arsenal rooted to the bottom just over a week ago, both sides go into this match just three points apart.
In fact, a two-nil win on Sunday at the Emirates would not only be hilarious, it would also take Arsenal above Spurs on goal difference.
Of course, Arsenal have only scored two goals in 450 minutes of league football, so netting the same amount in a single game is something of a big ask.
Still, three little points is all that separates the sides, one of which is in 13th place and the other in a much more respectable seventh.
Things change quickly in this game, something Spurs fans never seem to learn.