Paul Merson says he hopes Arsenal has already made a bid to keep Martin Odegaard with them permanently and if there is no possibility of that happening, then he shouldn’t be playing.
Odegaard has become a key member of the current Arsenal team and the club hopes to keep him beyond this season.
But that isn’t in their hands because the deal that brought him to London was a simple loan for the rest of the season.
His fine form might tempt Madrid to give him another chance next season, but Merson hopes he is staying.
He says he would be disappointed if Arsenal hasn’t informed Madrid of their intention to sign him permanently yet.
He then adds that the midfielder shouldn’t be given so much responsibility and opportunities if the club has no permanent plans for him.
This is because fielding him so often is taking away valuable game time from Emile Smith Rowe.
‘Martin Odegaard looks a really good player and I hope Arsenal have a chance of signing him permanently,’ Merson told Starsport.
‘Because if they don’t have a chance of making his loan permanent next season, why is he playing?
‘If they know he doesn’t want to stay, he shouldn’t be playing because he’s taking opportunities away from people like Emile Smith Rowe.
‘So I hope Arsenal have done their homework and know what the situation is – I’d be disappointed if they haven’t already made a bid to be honest!
‘It took him a while to adjust but you have to give him the ball. He gets into lots of good positions, and to start with his team-mates weren’t seeing him.
‘They weren’t giving him the ball. But now he’s getting it more often and he’s making things happen. He can hurt opposing teams.
‘It’s almost a free role and for someone so young to be trusted with such a difficult position at such a young age is a big deal.
‘But if he’s okay after his injury and he helps Arsenal win the Europa League, Real Madrid will probably want him back – or add a lot more money to his asking price.’