Martin Odegaard does not appear to be performing at the high levels that Arsenal fans have come to expect from him. After watching our captain fail to impress in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea, I even posted a story titled “Three possible solutions to Martin Odegaard’s ‘bad day at the office’ against Chelsea.”
He struggled once again against Sevilla on Tuesday night, managing only 30 touches (the fewest of any other Gunner on the pitch), completing only 17 passes (none of which were key passes), and failing to execute any dribbles as per Sofascore.
It’s time for Arteta to consider what he can do to rekindle Odegaard’s enthusiasm. I believe resting him for Arsenal’s next game, versus Sheffield, is a sensible decision. Arsenal play the Blades on Saturday, and even with their captain on the bench, they should still be able to field a strong team for the win.
Ex-Gunner Adrian Clarke believes Mikel Arteta will rest Odegaard, allowing the 24-year-old to recharge his batteries and return strong.
Clarke stated on the Handbrake Off Podcast, “I do think the link-up between Saka, White, and Odegaard has been less prolific this season. That triangle hasn’t been as good this season. I don’t think there’s anything majorly wrong; Odegaard has still scored a few goals — some really good goals this season as well. It might be the case that he’s left out against Sheffield United just to recharge the batteries and to come back the next game.”
Odegaard is a fantastic player, but he’s also human, and he deserves a rest. It has been two years since he has started a Premier League match from the bench; there will be no harm in him doing so on Saturday. Hopefully, a break will motivate him to get back into shape. Mikel Arteta may even be able to find out if he has a viable replacement for his playmaker.
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