Do Arsenal need to find a reliable backup for Martin Odegaard?

Mikel Arteta is preparing a midfield revamp this summer, with rumours of signing at least two midfielders, one to compete with Partey and Jorginho for the No. 6 spot and another to replace the departing Granit Xhaka. With these two midfield swoops completed, one could argue that Arsenal’s midfield will be even better next season. Is this true?

Arsenal’s midfield could still remain unsettled until we find another star as a trustworthy backup to Odegaard. What if Arsenal’s No. 8 suffers a long-term injury, the club would struggle so I suggest that the Gunners should pursue a deal for Joao Felix.

Felix is poised to return to Atletico Madrid after his loan spell at Chelsea expires, since Pochettino is unwilling to include him in his Chelsea plans. Lee believes the Atletico Madrid man is the greatest candidate to play the Odegaard job and that he may even play better and rise to the occasion on important occasions, and we could have a potential battle between Odegaard and Felix for a spot in Arteta’s starting 11.

As Lee Gunner said on the Football Terrace: “Odegaard. People will say, “But he scored 15 goals.” Name one big team he scored against, one decent team this season he scored against. Newcastle, I’ll give you that; other than that, what has he done?

“Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest, teams like that—he doesn’t score against the big teams. I’ll take Felix at Arsenal in a heartbeat. And not only that, even when you say when they’re all fit, we’re trying to build a squad. Why can’t Odegaard have a player challenge him?

“Why can’t [Gabriel] Jesus or Eddie [Nketiah] have another player challenging? Why can’t [Gabriel] Martinelli or [Bukayo] Saka have players challenging? People are saying I’m nuts; I couldn’t care less at the end of the day. If Odegaard gets injured, we’re putting Fabio Vieira in; are you telling me he’s better than Joao Felix?”

Here’s my reaction to Lee’s comments: With 15 goals and 8 assists in 45 games, I don’t see Odegaard losing his starting berth in Arteta’s lineup. Felix may be a good addition, and Arsenal should take advantage of Atletico Madrid’s indecision over him. If Felix is available at a low cost, Arsenal should sign him and use him as an option off the bench or in cup competitions. His versatility could help Arsenal compete for the Premier League title next season, as he could be the perfect option during squad rotation.

Do you think Arsenal will need a reliable backup to Odegaard next season, especially with Champions League games on the horizon?

Daniel O

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Tags Joao Felix Martin Odegaard


    1. Agreed Reggie ,maybe someone to take us to the next lvl which I believe he won’t be able to do next season (unpopular opinion )but one I stick by until he proves me wrong .

  1. IMO, every position in the squad should be challenged. And when I say challenged, I mean with equall or better quality. How else will they improve?

  2. Leicester City is relegated we can pursue James Madison he won’t be too expensive. Madison skill set by starts is better than Odegard. The problem is his injury woes and he may not want the bench.

  3. Arsenal needs a box to box midfielder all day whether to arrive in the box late or carry the ball from defense to attack.

    Smith Rowe with his close control and direct running could figure in some games taking the pressure off Odegaard, if Caicedo comes the midfield suddenly have more bite.

    Arsenal has been said to be in close contact wiith Manuel Ugarte, the Uruguayan is an attacking midfielder that is young and highly technical works tirelessly and always wants the ball could be just what the doctor ordered.

    1. If you look him up, it appears Chelsea are all over him, and psg and utd have been linked. I’d be shocked if we managed to get him ahead of those teams.
      He’s also frequently listed as a DM, though one who’s presence is felt in all areas of the pitch – he does seem to be highly rated

      1. Yes you are right didn’t realize he was so popular, only learned of our intrest recently, he’s a real live wire though on the pitch.

  4. I would love to see ESR get his chance as the back up 10 behind Odegaard; ESR does his best work through the middle.

    I don’t see Arteta dropping, rotating, or having competition for Odegaard the captain.

    Arteta has not shown the desire to have open competition for positions so far.

    1. Look at Tierney at LB
    2. Trossard when playing as a 9 immediately dropped for Jesus
    3. Healthy Tomiyasu never competed with White or either CB
    4. ESR didn’t get a chance to beat out Vieira

    Our depth isn’t top shelf I agree, but certainly players like Tomiyasu (earlier in season), Tierney, Trossard, ESR, could have more chances when the starters forms had dipped.

  5. We’ve got Vieira, Smith-Rowe and Partey to rotate with Odegaard. I bet Nelson and Saka can also play in that position

    Joao Felix is more of a forward than a deep-midfield playmaker. If we really need to sign more attacking midfielders, Maddison could be a good option

  6. In my humble and correct opinion we don’t need to buy cover for Odegaard because we already have it. Leandro Trossard has demonstrated he is technically gifted, positionally astute, and a fine creator of scoring chances for his teammates. We are fortunate that he is able to play a number of positions, but as he showed when he played the False 9, he is better when used in the centre of the pitch. With his close control, two-footedness, and playmaking skills he is natural cover for our captain. It also frees ESR to be used elsewhere on the pitch, and if Vieira ever backs up his obvious technical ability we have further cover.

    What we need to do is replace Xhaka with Zinchenko or bring someone in to play there plus add some depth to the middle of the pitch. I would rather see us go for Paqueta and Caicedo/Zubimendi than blow it all on Declan Rice. I think Rice is a good player but massively over-hyped. Paqueta made more tackles than Rice since the WC whilst also being more technically gifted and a bigger goal threat. Rice just runs about a lot. Let Chelsea spend £120M on him and let’s spend our more more discriminately.

    1. Really interesting post! Agree with most of it, and the idea of going for paqueta is intriguing. Now that you mention it, I think he’s done quite well for whu after a slow (understandably) start, and I do think he would fit into xhaka’s role quite well. Only drawback for me is that I think he’s more of an attacking midfielder, and even if he’s willing to get stuck in, I’m not sure if he has xhaka’s defensive instincts, which could lead to more gaps opening up – not sure, but it could work!

    2. “In my humble and correct opinion” Great contradiction in terms Ben.😁
      You’ve made some excellent points, but I can’t agree over Rice and him making less tackles & running around a lot. The great Paulo Maldini once said that “if I have to make a tackle, then I’ve already made a mistake”. It’s more about interceptions, forcing turnovers, and causing opponents to make errors. As for him running around, that’s what footballers do.
      I’ve been thinking that the apparent interest in Gundogan may have something to do with cover for one or more of our regular midfielders and he spends plenty of time on City’s bench with no known complaints.

      1. I’m never going to argue with anything the greatest fullback in history has to say. There is something to be said for making tackles not being a barometer of ability. After all Irdissa Gana Gueye makes the same or more tackles as N’Golo Kante but they are nowhere near the same calibre of player.

    3. Well said @Ben, I’ve not seen why Rice is rated so high, he’s got almost nothing compared to Pasqueta,Guimeraes, Casimero and Partey,

      I’m beginning to think Rice is more of smoke-screen, Arteta and Edu will shock us,
      As for Odegaard, he needs to hit the Gym, else Trossard takes his spot, he’s kinda of our weak link in the midfield, especially in big games,

      In my opinion, I would sign

      CM: Urgate, Savic,Pasqueta
      DF: Cancelo
      CF: Calvert lewis/ Vlahovic/ Watkins

      We must win atleast one competition next season.

      1. I am unaware of Urgate!? Couldn’t agree more in Savic or Vlahovic. Cancelo is a better left back than right back and I think Kieran Tierney is a better defender, so I don’t know how I feel about him potentially joining.

        DCL is too injury prone but I would take Ollie Watkins. He’s an Arsenal fan and he works tirelessly. He’s similar to Jesus in his work rate and versatility but is a better central striker in my opinion. I think he’d be good.

  7. Viera should fill that role or else the manager and edu should be questioned on his purchase. You can’t be replacing a position every season or else it amounts to waste of money

    1. @Wale, it ain’t the anyone’s fault, lukaku was hot for Everton, but a flop for Chelsea, hot for inter, KDB,Salah as well, so it all depends,

      1. @longbenark, I concur with you. It’s just infuriating seeing arsenal buying players and them being stuck on the bench or loaned out.

  8. Lee Gunner, an ex member of that AFTV mob, moans about Odegaard only scoring against one big team and then bigs up Felix, who has also only scored against one big team 😂. Felix struggled to score against lesser teams and I’m pretty sure his assists record is nowhere near Odegaards.

  9. Exactly what I was saying to myself!!!
    And does he know the wages Joao felix earns plus Joao felix can’t play as a midfielder in a 4-3-3 cause defensively he is a liability

  10. Lee Gunner was indeed a regular contributor on the appalling AFTV station, so widely discredited nowadays as a site for ranting idiots.

    So why help publicise this man? I see no reason or benefit to our club in doing so.

    A fan who thinks Felix, soon to be released by 12th place Chelsea, is better than Odegaard, second in the player of the year award, and captain of our second place team, is hardly Brain of Britain. IS HE!!!

  11. I cannot believe somebody proposed Joel Felix to understudy Odegaard.

    I can only assume he had his tongue in BOTH cheeks!!

  12. Odegaard is the captain and the main instigator of the pressing up front. Even Xhaka, Jesus and Zinchenko looks highly upon him. He never stops running, fights for his teammates and has great understanding with Saka, Jorginho and Trossard. Never complains, no drama and a role model for everyone at the club. He is the highest scoring midfielder in the land by mile and he absolutely loves Arsenal FC. He probably will go down as one of the best captains ever at the club. Is Joao Felix the same?

    1. You overrate him. He is good yes but can’t be the player to take us to the next level. He is too soft to be our captain. Where did you see him fighting for his team mates. He is Arteta’s favorite but ESR is equally good or better but like Tierney the coach doesn’t like him.

  13. I’ve just this morning been reading on Arseblog of Xavi Simons a 20-year-old from PSV who plays right across the front three, plus attacking midfield, and has scored 22 goals with 12 assists, mostly from midfield, so would make an ideal backup to any of our attacking players.

    1. Keep up man, you’re on the wrong page.
      There’s an article about Simons posted elesewhere on this site this very morning. Gawd.

      1. Of course, how really careless of me. I retract my comment and any other references to this issue unreservedly🫣

  14. Why are many over looking the star boy xavi Simon’s, he looks good for our team and is versatile as a bench player…

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