Petit rejects Redknapp claim that Arsenal star is now better than Manchester City man

Joe Williams
Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit walks across the pitch

Emmanuel Petit disagrees that Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard is now better than Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne after his impressive performances.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the Gunners beat Fulham 3-0 eight days ago, Redknapp claimed Odegaard had leapfrogged De Bruyne as the best midfielder in the Premier League.

Redknapp said: “Right now he’s number one. There’s nobody [better].

“Normally we would say Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfield player, not just in the Premier League but the world. But something isn’t quite right. He isn’t playing as many games as he’d like.

“But Odegaard does this thing where – all great players possess it – it’s like time stands still when he has the ball.

“Most players [would rush the shot today], especially midfield players as we’re not used to getting in those situations.

“But the calmness that he possesses, he’s scored four or five goals like that with that left foot. He’s the captain, he’s the leader.

“Yeah, for me he’s number one [in the Premier League]. And he’s leading that team.

“The other thing he does as well, when he hasn’t got the ball he goes and presses it. He’s the first one, the first point of defence, he goes and presses and then all of a sudden it catches. He does it so well.”

Odegaard has been outstanding for Premier League leaders Arsenal, contributing ten goals and six assists in 27 league matches this season, while De Bruyne has hit four goals and provided 12 assists for his team-mates in fewer starts.

And Petit can’t agree with Redknapp and thinks De Bruyne is still ahead of the Arsenal captain.

Petit told wettfreunde: “Odegaard is certainly on a really good path. This season alone, he is appearing more and more mature, he has also become more consistent in his performances. He is irreplaceable in this team.

“But I still see Kevin De Bruyne ahead today in terms of experience and robustness.”

Mikel Arteta has guided Arsenal into an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings, although second-placed Manchester City have a game in hand on the north Londoners.

And Petit has been shocked at the speed of Arteta’s success at Arsenal with the former Gunners midfielder claiming the Spaniard has worked “miracles”.

“With this team, Arteta has assembled a certain quality and a squad that can stay up. I honestly wouldn’t have believed he would be ready so quickly and that he could perform such miracles.

“Since Mikel Arteta arrived at Arsenal, he has developed well. He still has a lot to do, but he has already done a lot of good things. He has found his first eleven and the players seem to be a happy group now.

“They seem to understand what Arteta is asking of them. He has a fine feel for his squad, what exactly he still needs to become even more competitive on the international stage.”

READ MORE: Arsenal refuse to feel sorry for themselves on hangover-free afternoon against struggling Palace