Martin Odegaard ‘proved Arsenal legend wrong’ in potential leadership role

Paul Merson was skeptical of Martin Odegaard during his loan spell at Arsenal but now believes the midfielder is among the best in the Premier League and key to Champions League qualification.

Martin Odegaard has gone from average lender to one of the Premier League’s best

Arsenal great Paul Merson claims Martin Odegaard proved him wrong and is now one of the best players in the Premier League.

Merson, who won five major honors with the Gunners during a glittering playing career, was unsure of the Norwegian star at first. But he believes Odegaard is becoming a leader at the Emirates – and could help them qualify for the Champions League.

In writing in his Daily Star column, Merson said: “Martin Odegaard has proven me wrong and is becoming the leader Arsenal need to pass their toughest test yet. team for me. He has really improved and is doing business.

“I think the players respect him because they can see he’s a real player. I didn’t see him at first, I have to admit. It looked like he didn’t really want to leave Real Madrid, and I didn’t think he uprooted any tree while on loan at Arsenal.

“He could have sulked and lost confidence when Madrid didn’t want him anymore, but he’s playing better than ever now. He’s Arsenal’s go-to man and he’s got them buzzing. He’s not a leader in terms running and kicking people or barking orders. But in terms of how he plays, he is.

“The way he’s changed things, people are looking at him now and fair play, he’s done very, very well. He always wants the ball and knows how to use it. That’s also leadership. Take my hat off because he’s top, top drawer. One of the best in the Premier League in my opinion.”

Martin Odegaard has become a key leader for Arsenal


James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

Arsenal’s four main rivals all play ahead of the Gunners after the international break and Merson feels they will need Odegaard and co to keep firing on all cylinders. He wrote: “The problem for Arsenal is that everyone else is playing ahead of them when they return from the international break.

“They won’t go to Crystal Palace until Monday so all their rivals will have a chance to win and put the pressure on them. This is the test now for Arsenal. Can they handle the pressure because it’s good and good now.

“And they’ll need players like Odegaard to keep showing up every week and changing, because I think almost every player is playing as well as they can right now. I keep hearing it’s up to Arsenal to lose but it’s not like they are 14 points clear as Man City were on top at one point.Crystal Palace away on a Monday night under the lights is a tough game. that they don’t panic in the run-in, they should be fine.”

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