In your opinion, which is the one Arsenal player that Arteta simply can’t afford to lose to injury

There are ten games remaining in the 2023–24 Premier League season, and one would wonder which player is key to Arsenal in the run-in.

As for James McNicholas, Martin Odegaard is the most important Gunner. The journalist believes Mikel Arteta can’t afford to lose the Norwegian international to injury.

“I was asked…which Arsenal player I would want to preserve from injury above all others. I thought long and hard about that…in the end, I actually chose Martin Odegaard. Because, for me, in terms of what he brings to the team, both in the intensity of his pressing and his work off the ball but also just his sheer quality and ability to make and score chances, I don’t think we have anyone else in that position who looks close to replicating that,” McNicholas told Arsecast.

If one game showed Odegaard’s power, it was the UCL round of 16 second 2nd leg match between Arsenal and FC Porto; the Norwegian dazzled every time he had the ball on his feet.

His brilliance cannot be emphasised enough. He’s been in excellent form this season. He is progressively establishing himself as one of Europe’s most creative players, pulling the strings in Arsenal’s final third. In 36 games for Arsenal across all competitions, he’s scored nine goals and assisted seven.

However, he not only contributes to the attack, he is also always ready to step up and help defend; he is the first line of defence, triggering and leading the Arsenal press.

That said, Arteta has some injury worries before the clash with Manchester City next weekend. There’s concern that Arsenal could lack the services of Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Bukayo Saka when they face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Since the Sheffield game, Martinelli has been nursing a deep cut injury, while Gabriel and Saka both refrained from featuring for their national teams this international break due to reported injuries.

Hopefully, Arteta gets a massive injury boost between now and the ‘Premier League final’ on Sunday.

Darren N

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Tags Martin Odegaard


  1. Odegard without any doubt.
    Arsenal has options for most roles on the field. But no one comes exactly with Odegard’s skill set. Eye for pass, Agreesve at winning the ball back through pressing, can score goals and helps in defensive midfield when called upon.

  2. Saka is the most valuable player on Arsenal books, he’s is probably the most valuable player in the league by extension if one goes by various sports outlets.

    But Declan Rice sits firmly in the middle of Arsenal spine, so the former West Ham man has to be given the edge.

  3. Just a tough question for a team sport I’d say. If I were to choose one yes I’ll go with odegard. Boy runs all game, pressing from the front! Running back for ball recoveries. Essentially no one does that better in those cute passes

  4. Rice – Since we don’t have any healthy DM in the team and our midfield would be non- existent without him. He is the only one that we can not afford to miss even for a single match unless Partey is healthy and fit.

  5. Saliba injury proved decisive last season

    so Saliba has to come in to consideration

    in that case so does Gabriel

    then obviously Saka, miles ahead of any of other forwards

    Odegaard is a very special player, captain and integral to how Arsenal play

    Rice too has been outstanding, but as he can play #6 and #8 it also means he has more cover at #6 and #8 – this being an under appreciated side to Arteta’s versatility matra

    i.e. Jorginho/Partey quality alternatives for #6, and Havertz/ESR quality alternatives at #8

    so while Rice has been arguably our consistently best player this season, we actually could potentially lose him without disastrous consequences

    what about Saliba, well we have White who can step straight in when Timber is fit again very soon, or the other way around

    next Gabriel, similarly have Kiwior to step in with Tomi/Zinc to replace at Left Back

    so I suppose then it comes to Saka, and while I love Nelson, and hope Jesus could also cover, it is his match winning goals that even a slight dip might be costly

    so for me it is Saka who we would most miss

    not can’t afford to lose because that implies we have no hope without that one player, such is Arsenal today I think we are still in it even with 1 or 2 key losses

  6. To me the whole first team is very important. No standout player as they are all contributing as a Unit in their own respective position.

    Taking out one player will not dramatically change our quality.

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