How Martin Ødegaard Is Slowly Returning to His Best Form at Arsenal

Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Martin Odegaard of Real Madrid (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images) /

After some fine displays in an Arsenal jersey, Martin Ødegaard is showing why he is primed to return to his best form this season.

Since making his six-month loan move to Arsenal in the January transfer window, Martin Ødegaard has slowly started to regain the top form that his parent club, Real Madrid, was hoping he was going to capture this season.

When the Gunners brought him to the Emirates in January, they were lacking creativity in the midfield, with Emile Smith Rowe being the only real option for Mikel Arteta’s side.

Smith Rowe’s recent injury knocks have opened the door for the Norwegian to take over the central attacking role in Arsenal’s starting XI with Arteta slotting Smith Rowe on the left side of the pitch, where he’s operated more as an attacking threat with his overlapping runs.

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Odegaard has started the last three games for Arsenal, where they’ve won twice, scored seven times, and their only defeat came at the hands of arguably the best team in the world at the moment, Manchester City.

“Can I just say, Odegaard right. He’s beautiful on the ball, he’s so efficient,” Ian Wright said on his podcast.

“People like Odegaard, he brings people into the game, he gives you touches he’s one of those. I remember when I played with Gazza, Gazza was amazing for that.”

Such high praise from one of the great Arsenal legends proves that though he is still adjusting, Ødegaard provides so much more on the pitch that goes beyond scoring goals.

Martin Ødegaard provides so much more than just goals

As Wright said, he’s so confident on the ball, completing over 80 percent of his passes in the last three games, he’s someone who won’t turn the ball over many times in a game, which was a big issue in Arsenal’s midfield prior to his arrival.

Likewise, the 22-year-old continues to remain unfazed with tight spaces as he pushes the play forward and helps to get his teammates more involved in the build-up play.

For example, in their recent 3-1 win against Leicester, the 22-year-old played a vital part in setting up an easy tap-in for Nicholas Pepe.

Working with Pepe in the build-up, Ødegaard was able to remain central to the attack and sent an easy through pass to El Neny that helped the Egyptian squeeze a ball back to Pepe for the opening goal.

Though he is seen as a more central figure in an attacking setup, the Norwegian is not afraid to drift wide and make things happen down the right flank with overlapping runs, as we’ve seen him do at Real Sociedad.

Ødegaard adjustment at Arsenal has been faster than expected

Although not many players can find their footing after a month and a half in the Premier League, it seems as though Ødegaard is slowly earning his stripes at the Emirates, and with each solid performance, the question remains if Arsenal would have a shot of securing a permanent transfer for the young playmaker.

According to transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, Martin Ødegaard’s potential future at the Emirates will depend on whether or not Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane, is still in charge of the club come next season.

Ødegaard struggled for playing time under Zidane this season after suffering a few injuries early on in the campaign and was not given many opportunities thereafter.

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With Arsenal likely to open discussions with Real Madrid at the end of the season for the permanent signings of both Ødegaard and Ceballos, the Gunners will have to hope that Madrid will be willing to let go of their young star with eyes on their next galactico signing.