Opinion: Was Arteta wrongly obsessed with the signing of Odegaard?

Martin Odegaard was one of Arsenal’s best players in the second half of last season.

The Norwegian midfielder was on loan at the Emirates from Real Madrid and he left a great impression on Mikel Arteta.

The Spanish manager wanted him back at the club and kept praying Madrid would send him back to the Emirates on loan or a permanent transfer.

Emile Smith Rowe had just broken into the Arsenal first team when Odegaard joined and the Englishman had to compete with his fellow European star for a place in the team.

Arteta initially fielded both players in the same lineup, but that has changed recently and Odegaard is now being benched for Smith Rowe.

The Norwegian seems to have suffered a dip in form and it’s nothing new. Why was Arteta clearly obsessed with a move for him?

Odegaard shone in his spell on loan at Real Sociedad, but the Norwegian has struggled with consistency for much of his career.

He couldn’t make it at Real Madrid, one wonders why Arteta believed he would be the right player for his team.

The Norway captain is undeniably talented, but he seems to lack the physicality that is required to thrive in the Premier League.

Smith Rowe is also not overly physical, but the Englishman makes up for that with quick feet and seems to be much sharper on and off the ball.

Arteta made us believe Odegaard was the missing piece of the jigsaw at the Emirates. In hindsight, do you think he was unnecessarily obsessed over signing the midfielder?

Tags Martin Odegaard Mikel Arteta


  1. Everybody has a role to play in that team.A winning team should have more than 11 players. I like the way he comes in later in the game but might still come in if ESR gets injured.

  2. No
    He often leads the press
    Arteta has a lot of players in this squad who have played less than 50 games for arsenal, they are all learning one another’s qualities and who can be used for what roles, in combination with others.

  3. He’s talented no doubt but personally sometimes he just seems like he’s running around to no real effect. If he can rediscover his form he could be lethal but no one comes into form on the bench. I would not have bought him since we had ESR, and would have kept Willock but who am I…just a fan.

  4. Odergaard was totally underwhelming last season, i didn’t understand the signing this and he has not justified in anyway why we signed him so far.

  5. Can’t help but think about willock. He was a high pressing player with tons of energy. Kinda has the ability to play how laccazete is playing atm. More of a nuisance than goal scoring threat. Anyway its done now odegard was always average and will continue to be

  6. Odergaard does not press. Ozil was benched by Emery for not pressing. Arteta does not have good judgement of players, strengths and capabilities and how to use them, he never should have signed him.

    1. OK, I’ve avoided responses lately as The Arsenal have been up and down the last few years, but did you seriously just compare Odergaard and Ozil in terms of pressing? To quote a US network…come on man! That’s your true belief?? Odergaard does not press, and Ozil was benched for the same….lol…

    2. Not true. Pay more attention to how Odegaard pressed high up the pitch and his high work rate

      Odegaard always initiated the high pressing, whereas Ozil preferred to stay behind when the opposition’s GK had the ball. Both are slow though, so Odegaard often get caught out of position after chasing the opposition’s GK and CBs

      The high pressing should’ve been performed by faster attackers, such as Aubameyang, Saka, Pepe or Smith-Rowe. Odegaard just needs to learn from Lacazette, on how to win duels and dangerous challenges

  7. Odegaard was a type of CAM we didn’t have, so the purchase was necessary to enable us play with various tactics. Had we signed Maddison or Aouar, Smith-Rowe could’ve been benched since they occupy similar space in the field

    Odegaard is benched for Lacazette, not Smith-Rowe. Both Odegaard/ Lacazette are slow and not ideal for high-pressing, but Lacazette has no hesitation in 50/50 challenges, has more experience in duels and is generally better in making technical fouls/ faking out fouls

    When many fans wanted Smith-Rowe to play as CAM, Arteta had a different plan and make left-wing as Smith-Rowe’s best positions. Smith-Rowe is taller/ faster than other attacking midfielders at Arsenal and Arteta will also train Odegaard to be highly effective on the right side of the field

    1. GNI, up to your old tricks again…only you could post something then actually respond to your own post with what appears to be an opposing position…classic

      1. TRVL4 you can decide to ignore it since you don’t think he’s making sense, but some of us like reading what his comments.

        1. Ditto to you LH, as this wasn’t directed towards you so your involvement is questionable at best, unless you have another agenda in mind….if so, I’m all ears

  8. Admin, look up and take a gander at the words of the poster you were so quick to defend against big, bad old me…just rewards I guess

  9. Odegaard is okay for a squad player
    I don’t think 30m for him was too much, we couldn’t have afforded any other replacement in that position for anything less than that…

    Aoaur could have been signed but I think the club thought he was too Smith Rowe, and instead chose to develop Smith.

    Odegaard will be useful cos he is versatile aswell, he can play across the positions and play either as a 10 or 8 or even as a right winger just like he does most times for Norway, if Saka gets injured or given a rest…

    TBH I don’t think he was the right fit, cos I personally think he did enough to warrant a permanent deal.. he was just like Ceballos in comparison… but I don’t either he is as bad signing either

    Lastly for the comparison with Ozil is laughable they are not even close, Ozil at Martin’s age was tracking runners and tackling, if not he wouldn’t be featuring under Mourinho when he was at Madrid… he only lost it due to the less intensity at Arsenal during Wenger’s time, and equally advancement in age

  10. I don’t think at any point did Arteta make us believe Odegaard was ‘the missing piece in the jigsaw’.Claiming the manager was obsessed with him is also a bit of a stretch in my opinion.
    It is also not true that Emile is keeping Odegaard out of the starting 11.In the new formation, ESR often occupies the left midfield area. I have never seen Odegaard deployed in that part of the pitch. The player keeping Ode out of the team is Lacazette.

    Finally I think it’s quite early to draw conclusions on the success of a transfer.Despite essentially calling Odegaard a flop, he has made tangible contributions thus far including a free-kick that won us three points and a remarkable performance against Tottenham in the NLD.

  11. Do u see hes minutes when he came on as a sub. He took on 3 players and nearly scored. Had it not been for Auba’s offside.

    I see some great passes in hes 10 minutes.

    I think he’s a good signing and at the price and age is a very good investment

  12. Odegaard works hard ,has excellent ball control and his decision making is generally good.However, he is painfully one paced and defensively he is poor.In fact rarely have I seen a player who is so easily beaten by some pretty average opposition in one for one situations.With him and Xhaka in the side together, our midfield is slow and ponderous, and significantly, their absence has resulted in a vast improvement particularly when we are counter attacking.I do hope Odegaard proves me wrong and is a success at Arsenal, but I have my doubts.

  13. If your opinion is right then Ode should be a permanent member of the team notwithstanding his form because the coach is ‘obsessed’ with him.
    We all can not deny he has potential, form is temporary but potential and class are permanent. I love his style, his work rate and everything , I hope he settled quick and find his form.
    This is why it’s good to have great summer, had we bought 2 marquee signing with our summer budget and one is out of form, imagine how the pressure would mount, but here we are, willing to give our summer signing time to integrate well because others are doing well, reason am not a huge fan of big signings, it could go either way, and the pressure at time affect the players e.g if we had bought Pepe at £30mil or less (his real worth), he wouldn’t be seen as flop by many, how can we buy Pepe for £72mil and Partey £45?

  14. Technically Odegaard is better than both saka and ESR and all 3 of them have massive potential.

    ESR is on crazy form right now and i believ its because of the chemistry he has with the team mainly saka and then you have laca who can create superb onfield chemistry with anyome.Hopefully he keeps his head down and keep on learning…💯

  15. Obsessed are your words and not mine, but I didn’t see enough from Odegaard to impress me. Personally I think it was an uninspired buy with Arteta taking a safe option and not seriously looking around. Perhaps it comes with limited scouting but also lack of judgement.

  16. I think he has the potential to become the future captain of this young team as it develops, I guess Ben White would be a more obvious shout at this stage but I think Ode could be in the mix

  17. Odegaard isn’t that bad, seems to be the only summer purchase on a slow progress,
    He’s good at set-piece, long passes are almost accurate, shouts well, he’s a different kinda midfielder,
    Not a bad purchase,

  18. I simply wish to point out to Ad Martin who, astonishingly and wrongly, uses the word “obsessed,” that an obsession is what a teenage boy may well have for an attractive female but football managers are employed to win games.

    Therefore, as with other managers, MA is NOT “obsessed with Odegaard but considers him a valuable squad member! He has chosen to start him as sub more recently, whichis IMO sound judgement and in no way – asAd Martin ludicrously asks, is MA “obsessed” with him not with any other player .
    (Why MARTIN so often uses very incorrect English is IMO, because he is looking to polarise Gooner opinion, rather than to seek truth!)

    THAT is surely the truth but without the usual JA Admins histrionics and incorrect use of language.

  19. How he lacks the physicality and he was one of Arsenal’s best players in the second half of last season?And dont worry,many good players couldn’t make it at Real Madrid…………………………..Arteta Knows Better

  20. Lol at first it was can’t believe Ode is going to force ESR out the team and now it’s like why is Ode not good enough 😂 you guys are to funny.

    Ode was a steal in todays market, I’m 100% sure he will shine for us.

  21. As others have pointed out the use of the word “obsessed” is very dubious. Arteta clearly rates him but that does not mean he was obsessed with him.
    He has talent and has demonstrated qualities that can provide balance to the team when he has played well but has he has had a dip in form.
    The “missing piece of jigsaw”narrative is one that some fans seem to have simply made up to start yet another unnecessary argument.

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