Paul Merson claims that Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe are similar players who will offer Arsenal almost the same thing before claiming if Mikel Arteta has to choose one, he would pick the Norwegian over Smith Rowe.
Arsenal has just secured the permanent signing of Odegaard for £30m after pursuing him for much of the summer.
He spent the second half of last season with them at the Emirates, on loan from Real Madrid.
His performance impressed Arteta and the Gunners made their intention to sign him permanently clear from the beginning.
He returned to Madrid and was told he wasn’t a part of the first team plans by Carlo Ancelotti.
The Spaniards then accepted Arsenal’s bid for his signature.
The Gunners also have the fast-rising Smith Rowe who can play as a number 10, a similar role to that of Odegaard and Merson reckons there was no need to bring Odegaard back when they had the Englishman.
He then claimed that if it becomes important to bench one of them, Smith Rowe would be the one to miss out on a starting place.
“I can see why he held out signing a new contract. When Odegaard came on loan he ended up playing out on the wing.
“But Emile Smith Rowe is a No 10. He’s the future at Arsenal. He came through the ranks and he makes things happen.
“He is the one who is going to suffer most from them buying Odegaard.
“What really is the difference between them anyway?
“I think they are too similar. But I know who’s not getting picked if it starts going wrong and it won’t be the £30m new signing.”