Odegaard praises Arsenal ‘job with young players’

Dan Butterfield
Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard

Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has praised the clubs handling of young players after their influence in the Gunners’ recent form.

Mikel Arteta’s side started the season poorly, failing to win any of their first three Premier League games but have turned it around since and find themselves in the top four at Christmas.

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Whilst the headlines may be dominated by the exclusion of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the first team, the Arsenal youngsters have stepped up and put in a number of top performances.

The likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Odegaard have all impressed in the Premier League in recent weeks with Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Charlie Patino earning rave reviews in the Carabao Cup thrashing of Sunderland.

Much has been made of Arsenal’s lack of leaders with no real standout for the captaincy vacated by Aubameyang, but the young core have stepped up and delivered.

Odegaard leads the Norway national side and has been tipped as a potential captain for the Gunners. The midfielder has praised how the clubs has heled him and his fellow young talents develop under Arteta.

Speaking to Viaplay Football (via HITC), Odegaard said: “We have a very exciting group of players here. They do a fantastic job with young players, giving us match time and helping us all the way. They not only give us the chance, but help us grow every year.

“I feel that they have helped me a lot in the short period I’ve been here. I have been through a lot, despite my young age, and now I have joined a fantastic team, with young and promising players.

“We are a team that are rising in a big club that belongs in the top.

“I feel that we are on a good path to achieve that. What we have done lately is very promising.

“We are a hungry group of lads that want to establish the team in the top again. It feels good to be here, and I think what we are doing now is very good.”