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Arteta: “I have been following Odegaard for years”

The Arsenal manager spoke to the press about his new star signing

Arsenal Training Session Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Mikel Arteta is excited about the prospect of adding a player of Odegaard’s quality to his new-look Arsenal squad. The Gunners are undefeated in their last six Premier League matches. They have moved from 15th in the Premier League table at the end of December to 9th — just four points off a European Spot. In a press conference after Odegaard’s official announcement, the Spaniard explained his new acquisitions’ strengths.

“In the last few seasons he’s progressed and developed in the right way,” Arteta revealed. “I followed him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad which is my hometown and I know him really well. He is such a talent. He just needs the right environment, and a little bit of time, but he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”

After Arteta disclosed that he was a long time admirer of the Norwegian, he also explained how he could fit into his Arsenal side. “He’s a specialist to playing in the pockets, to be in the number eight or number ten positions. He can play on the wings as well — he’s a really creative player, really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces. He has the capacity to create chances, to score goals.”

One of the final questions asked by the press was regarding the length of the loan deal — would Arsenal extend or look to purchase the player? “It would be down to two things – first of all, how well he adapts here and how much of an impact he can have in our team, and second, what Real Madrid and the player thinks about it because he’s owned by Real Madrid and the player has a big say on that,” Arteta explained.

“I just wanted to give him a clear picture of who we are as a club, what we are trying to do, what we expect from him, just try to transmit the passion and excitement that we had to bring him in. I wanted to show him the project, how he fits and just try to persuade him that this is the right place for him and try to make things work.”

Odegaard’s first match could be this Saturday against Manchester United. It could be a baptism of fire for the Norwegian, but if he is fit and firing, there will be no reason why he can’t showcase his unique skillset.