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'I’ve been very impressed': Arteta lauds 22-year-old's surprise 'leadership' qualities

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was quizzed about what he has seen in Martin Odegaard so far in training.

The Norwegian only joined us last month but he seems to have made a big impression behind the scenes already. Cedric claimed yesterday that he has been brilliant in training (Arsenal.com), and Arteta has taken the praise to a whole new level.

The Arsenal boss claimed in his press conference yesterday that he only has positives to say about Odegaard. He has lauded the way he talks to his teammates, but surprisingly, he has heaped praise on his leadership at just 22 years old.

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Asked what he’s made of Odegaard, Arteta told Arsenal.com: “All positive from my first conversations with him. He’s a really focused and humble boy that was really keen to join, but he just wants to play football in the right way and then he said some really good things.

“He’s a really nice guy. The players like him, the staff like him, he’s easy-going, a really hard worker, and I’ve been very impressed with his leadership. He looks a little bit calm but on the pitch, he’s got something about him.

“I’ve been really impressed with him. It’s how he talks to his teammates and how he, for example, commands the high press. Then the personality that he brings and shows every time the opponent comes towards him he still wants the ball in the right areas. His decision making is really good and he’s a really intelligent player.”

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Arsenal Insider’s view:

It’s not usual for a manager to praise a 22-year-old’s leadership skills but that’s what Arteta has done.

Odegaard is a young player but it is important to note that he has been in and around the big boys at Real Madrid ever since he was 16 years old. That experience is vital for him and it can also benefit the young players around him on the pitch.

Arsenal fans and Arteta will be hoping that Odegaard steps up to the plate in the coming months. If he can perform at his absolute best, we will benefit massively and end the season on a high.

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

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