Mikel Arteta made the curious decision of starting Martin Odegaard ahead of Emile Smith Rowe in Arsenal’s 1-0 loss to Manchester City.
His decision confirmed the fears of some Arsenal fans who felt that Smith Rowe would eventually be sacrificed from the starting XI for the Real Madrid loanee.
Odegaard struggled in his time on the pitch as City kept their early lead to extend their winning run to 18 games in all competitions.
After his fine performance against Benfica, Odegaard was average in the City game, according to Alex Scott.
She was on Punditry duty on Sky Sports and says Arsenal’s struggle in a time that a team like Leicester City is picking up points could be a problem for them.
She then questioned why Arteta started Odegaard ahead of Smith Rowe who has been in fine form when he has played for the club.
She says the next few games will show if the Norwegian is worth keeping beyond his current spell.
“These couple of games when you’ve got Leicester, Burnley trying to pick up points,” she said on Sky Sports as quoted by Express Sport.
“The way this season is going with this Arsenal side that are not consistent in their play [it could be a problem].
“Today you’re looking at Odegaard, for me who was bang average, you have to question the decision for Smith Rowe not to be selected ahead of him.
“We are going to see his qualities put to the test in the next couple of weeks.
“Is he good enough to be in this starting XI for Arsenal or is this loan spell going to be a short one?”