Martin Odegaard took Sunday’s game by the scruff of the neck and dragged Arsenal back into it.
It was a terrific performance from the Norwegian loanee and one which has got Arsenal fans salivating. But I think we need to get a few things out there
Stop the Mesut Ozil comparisons
Mesut Ozil is no longer an Arsenal player, yet his “fan boys” and “haters” are still expending energy bringing him up at every opportunity.
On one hand you have people saying “Odegaard is putting in the performances we wished Ozil did” and “Odegaard taking the game by the scruff of the neck unlike a certain German”.
And then you have the responses of “Ozil at 22 was signing for Real Madrid. Odegaard at 22 is not wanted by Real Madrid” and “at the same age, Ozil was a superior player”.
How about we just stop it? On both sides.
Ozil was a world class player. I watched in awe as he ripped apart England in the Euro U21 final back in 2009. But he has not played consistently to a world class level for many years.
Likewise Odegaard is not yet a world class player. After his global break through as a school boy, his career has stalled. But he has the ability to become of the best midfielders in the world.
So lets allow Odegaard to develop without continually comparing him to a former world class player.
Odegaard is Odegaard. Ozil is Ozil.
Let’s not go OTT
Odegaard has had a couple of good games in an Arsenal shirt, and there is definitely a good player in there. But he still needs the time and space to develop.
Once he has put in a dozen or so performances together in a short space of time at a similar level as Sunday, we can then talk. Until then he is just a young player with talent. He is not yet the solution to Arsenal’s 10 problem.
Should Arsenal make him permanent
The overreaction world we live in has left some saying Arsenal should “break the bank” to make his deal permanent.
That is an example of people going OTT.
Whether Arsenal make his deal permanent depends on many factors:
1) Does he continue his current form, proving that he is worthwhile huge investment
2) Do Real Madrid want to sell? Or do they see this as the final stage of his development? If he continues to develop and put in match winning performances, won’t they want him back
3) And if they do sell, how much will they command? And will Arsenal pay it? Does it make sense for Arsenal to spend £40million+ on a player with a handful of good games? Remember, Dani Ceballos was in a similar position last year
4) And would there be other interested parties? If Odergaard continues to do well, Arsenal might find competition from Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham
There is a long way to go between where we are now and Odergaard becoming a world class permanent performer for Arsenal.
And what for Emile Smith Rowe?
Before Arsenal signed Odergaard, Smite Rowe was getting a solid run in the team and making a case to be a long term option in the middle of the park.
Recently Smith Rowe has found himself shunted out left or on the bench as Arteta accommodates Odergaard. So what would his future be?
That is probably a discussion for another blog.