Keown appears to make a U-turn on Odegaard after previously being against his signing

Martin Keown is one of the ex-Arsenal players who didn’t see the need for the Gunners to sign Martin Odegaard, but he may have changed his mind now.

The club legend previously criticised Mikel Arteta for wanting to buy the Norwegian when the club had Emile Smith Rowe.

“I think Smith Rowe is a better player in that position. But if the manager feels this Odegaard can bring something extra to the group then time will tell again,” he said previously as quoted by Mirror Football.

“I don’t think though that he’s a world-class player but I do think he’s a promising player.

“I would’ve thought that’s where the money should have been spent, big money in that central midfield position.”

Arteta was clear about why he wanted the former Real Madrid midfielder and has finally signed him.

Odegaard hasn’t been in poor form since he joined the club and may have changed the opinion of Keown.

The former Gunners supported the midfielder’s claim of the Arsenal dressing room being “nice” recently and goes on to say that the Norwegian is in a better place at the Emirates.

Keown told BBC via the same Mirror report that Odegaard has had “a good start.” 

He then adds: “Martin Odegaard is just starting out in his career. He hardly played for Real Madrid. I do feel the environment needed to improve at Arsenal when you think about what was happening with [Mesut] Ozil, a lot of power there and not the greatest of role models.

“Odegaard is in a dressing room now where he feels he’s got the right environment to work in and I think that’s good as well.”

Arteta has figured out how to play both Odegaard and Smith Rowe in the same lineup and both players have looked at home at the Emirates.

Their midfield partnership will hopefully blossom and lead Arsenal to win trophies in the near future.

Tags Martin Keown Martin Odegaard


  1. Many had negative opinions about Ode but he seems to have proved all of them wrong. Hence it is never correct to prejudge a player, give him time and space to prove himself. Keep working hard, Ode, arsenal needs you.

    1. I’m not sure he’s proved anybody wrong TBH ,a couple of good games is hardly proof that he is any better than last season ,I see the same player ,very neat and tidy on the ball with a good eye for a pass ,but offers little else ,he’s what I call a safe player ,the kind of player Arteta likes ,as he hates to take risks on and off the field .
      Odegaard lacks in quite a few departments which will be the difference from is challenging for top 4 and playing it safe around the top 6 .
      Would any of the other top4-6 teams have space for Odegaard in their teams ,my answer would be no ,there was hardly a queue forming when he became available non the summer .
      He would have to do a lot more for me to show he’s improved more than last season .

  2. I’m sorry if I upset you GFL, but I have yet to be convinced by Odegaard who is a neat and tidy player who lacks the power and pace to make a huge impression in the Premier League.I sincerely hope he proved me wrong, but I doubt if he will.I think my views are shared by many on JA , but I may be wrong.

    1. Grandad I personally think the jury is still out on Odegaard. I must say that, SO FAR, my IMPRESSION is that you are spot on.
      BUT, I think it important to give quite a lot more time before making a final judgement. It is still very early days for him in our Prem,IMO!

  3. Much in the same vein as most of the previous posters, I believe that it’s way too early to make any definitive pronouncements about this player…I’m inclined to think that he’s little more than a luxury buy that doesn’t bring enough to the equation to justify his seemingly regular inclusion in the starting 11, especially if the primary purpose of the Arteta experiment is to ultimately compete at the highest of levels…there’s no doubt he has some skills on the ball, but considering the underwhelming offensive tactics being deployed on a regular basis, it was infinitely more important that we acquired someone with a proven ability to provide much-needed supplemental scoring…who knows, maybe his set piece gem will become a more common occurrence than a once in a blue moon anomalous event

  4. Ode is a good player. But like the rest of the team , he needs qualities around him to cover his weaknesses. So arsenal is still work in progress. A quality technical defensive midfielder and an attacker that can dribble in tiny spaces like Bernardo and Brandt is the next phase for arsenal . We have to be true to ourselves that Smith can’t do that for now , else , donate his legs . We leave the wings for later transfer seasons .

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