Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says the imminent arrival of Martin Odegaard at Arsenal “worries” him.
Multiple reports have claimed that the Real Madrid midfielder will sign on loan at Arsenal in the coming days, with a deal lasting until the end of the season.
It is understood that the Gunners will have the option to try and agree a permanent move with Real Madrid in the summer but for now it is just a simple loan.
The Norwegian has made only eight appearances for Real since 2015, this being his fifth loan move.
And Ferdinand admits he would be “devastated” if Odegaard’s arrival stunted the progress of Emile Smith Rowe, who has only just been getting regular games.
“I’ve heard about this kid for a long time now,” Ferdinand told Five. “He had a good loan spell in Spain at Sociedad and did really well.
“He’s got potential, 100%. It’s about Mikel Arteta unlocking that. I think this kid is a talent, there’s no doubting that. But he’s got to find a home now. Hopefully at Arsenal.
“I want him to do well. Arteta had a reputation when he was at City and now here at Arsenal for getting the best out of young players, hopefully that follows true with this player.
“That’s the only thing that worries me. If he comes in and takes someone like Emile Smith Rowe’s position, I’ll be devastated. Because he’s come in and done unreal things. The way he’s played, he’s been a breath of fresh air at Arsenal, I’m sure the fans if they were there would be going crazy about him.
“He brings assists, he brings a calmness to the way Arsenal play. He’s the type of player who could have played over a number of generations at Arsenal in the way he plays football. So I hope he doesn’t come in and kind of stunt his growth in the team because he’s been really good the last few weeks.”