Mikel Arteta wants Martin Odegaard to turn into a match-winner, and he believes the midfielder could have scored even more goals recently.
Arsenal summer signing Martin Odegaard is Mikel Arteta’s side’s form goalscorer at the moment, having bagged a goal in each of the last three games.
That was somewhat overlooked against Manchester United and Everton, given the final scorelines, but the Arsenal fans could certainly enjoy Odegaard’s header against Southampton on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta admitted he’s pleased by the former Real Madrid man’s form, and he argues Arsenal need Odegaard to be a game-changer.
“Yeah, and he should have scored a hat-trick against Everton,” Arteta said of Odegaard’s recent run of goals.
“He’s making it into the box much more and now he understands why we encourage him to do that. Because then he is a match-winner – that’s the difference between a very good player and a match-winner.
“We need more of those players on the pitch, to win more of our games.”
Odegaard is certainly getting into shooting positions more often now. Before the United game, the 22-year-old only had one goal this season, from a free-kick.
Now he has three in three games, and as Arteta mentions, he could have had even more. There were further chances to add to his tally in the Everton game, and again against Southampton.
But it’s much better to be a player scoring one chance and missing another than failing to have any chances in the first place.
Odegaard arguably took the longest of Arsenal’s summer signings to get going, with Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, and Takehiro Tomiyasu all settling in almost instantly, and Nuno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga making good use of their opportunities.
That seems to be changing now, as the Norwegian international finds his stride again in England.