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Arsenal star Odegaard could be future Gunners captain, says Arteta

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The 23-year-old has thrived since making his move from Real Madrid permanent last summer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has named Martin Odegaard as a potential future club captain, and admits that he has been hugely impressed with the Norwegian’s work ethic since joining from Real Madrid.

The Gunners are currently without a permanent skipper after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the armband in December, prior to his exit to Barcelona.

The honour has been assumed by Alexandre Lacazette since Aubameyang’s removal, while Kieran Tierney was chosen to replace the striker as captain on Saturday following his substitution.

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“Martin has all the qualities to be a captain, absolutely. I have talked to his national team coach Stale Solbakken and they speak highly of him,” Arteta told reporters after Saturday’s game, which finished 2-1 in Arsenal’s favour against Brentford.

“He walks through the corridor and everybody loves him. He is such a nice, humble guy and he leads with the way he is. It is very natural for him – and that will come.”

Odegaard signed permanent terms with Arsenal last summer, after impressing during a loan spell from Real Madrid in the first half of 2021.

Still just 23, the former teenage prodigy – he moved to Madrid just a month after his 16th birthday – is now a key part of Arteta’s first team, and the manager is glad the Gunners were able to complete the deal.

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Martin Odegaard, Everton vs Arsenal 2021-22
“We had a period where we could evaluate what Martin could bring to the club. We had no doubts. The club was brilliant to secure him,” he added.

“Martin was really happy to join us because he felt valued, he enjoyed what we are doing, he got a really good connection with the players and the supporters. He wanted to be part of the project.

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“Since then he is getting better and better. I am not surprised. The way he lives his profession, the way he likes to play – everything he does is to become better. He still has a big margin.

“He wants it probably more than anyone else on that pitch – every single day. He will be a top, top player.

“He generated expectations when he was 16. Everybody wanted him. Then he had to fulfil that in a club like Madrid where the competition is extremely difficult. But now he has found his place.”

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