Martin Ødegaard is quickly becoming an integral piece to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side. The Norwegian has started back to back games as the team’s creative attacking outlet in the middle of midfield and has thrived in both matches. Media pundits and Arsenal fans dubbed the Real Madrid loanee their man of the match after Thursday’s encounter with Benfica.
Given the positive performances, Mikel Arteta was asked about making the loan move permanent in his pre-match press conference prior to the Manchester City match.
“At the end of the season, we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward,” Arteta told reporters.
“At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us. He has been here a very short time, but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.”
Arteta then went on to explain Ødegaard’s character and personality on the pitch. “He is a young leader. On the pitch he is showing a lot of character and a lot of intelligence.”
Real Madrid fans will be desperate not to lose their young playmaker, but if the Norwegian is adamant on a permanent move then there may be little the club can do to persuade him. His relationship with Arteta, his new teammates, and his relationship to the fans are all growing with each passing week. A big performance vs Manchester City will only see his value go up further both for Arsenal and Real Madrid. Another career defining decision will await the Norwegian in the summer.