Arsenal have made a real statement by signing Martin Odegaard until the end of the season. The Norwegian, if he can settle in quickly, can completely change our fortunes this term, and every Gunners fan is hoping for just that.
Mikel Arteta is delighted with his latest acquisition. He has claimed that he has been watching Odegaard for a long time, and has given an insight over how he might use him at the Emirates in the coming months.
He said, as quoted by Arsenal.com: “I’ve followed him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad, which is my hometown. I know him really well. I’ve been really impressed.”
“He’s such a talent. He needs the right environment, he needs a little bit of time but I think he’s got the qualities to be a success for us.”
“He’s a specialist to play in the pockets, to play in the No 8 or 10 positions. He can play off the sides. He’s a really creative player who’s really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces. He has the capacity to create chances and to score goals.”
“Something that he has improved a lot is his work-rate without the ball as well, so it’s another option to give us more creativity for sure in the final third, and give us more options to set up in different ways against certain teams.”
Every Arsenal fan is delighted to have Odegaard on board. Arteta feels he can operate as an attacking midfielder, as a number eight and also on the sides (wings), which gives us a lot of options in attack.
That is excellent news for everyone apart from Willian, who will now fall further down the pecking order.
Willian will barely get any game time now
Arteta and Edu heaped praises on Willian when he joined us in the summer. The Arsenal boss raved about his versatility, while our technical director labelled him as a player with ‘fantastic attributes’. (Arsenal.com)
It is safe to say, things haven’t quite worked out. Willian has arguably been our worst signing over the last decade. He has offered very little since after his debut, and now that Odegaard is in, he might have to make himself comfortable on the bench.
Willian’s last two starts for Arsenal have been in the FA Cup. He started both games as a number 10, but with Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe available there, there is no way he will be considered for a central role again this tem.
On the left-wing, Arsenal have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Gabriel Martinelli, while Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe are excellent options on the right flank. That makes Willian the third choice even in the wide areas, fourth if you count Odegaard. That reduces his game time even further.
If Mikel Arteta decides to form two Arsenal lineups – one for the Premier League and one for Europe – Willian won’t get into either of the sides. That is terrible news for him, but his performances and attitude on the pitch deserves nothing better.
Edu and Arteta must admit that they’ve got it wrong with Willian now. The Brazilian should be shown the door in the summer, but the three-year contract we’ve given him makes things more difficult.
Arsenal are at the risk of ending up in another Mesut Ozil situation. Willian will demand high wages at his next club as well, and after how he has performed over the last few months, no side in their right mind will offer him that.
Edu has done really well to get rid of Ozil, Sokratis and potentially Shkodran Mustafi in the coming days. The Brazilian should now find a way to offload his compatriot in the summer, but it will probably be his most difficult task yet.