Charles Watts has now addressed the chances that Ben White and Martin Odegaard agree to sign new contracts after Arsenal identified the pair as their latest priorities.
The reporter has told TEAMtalk that Arsenal have now made getting White and Odegaard to sign new contracts their next priority. Aaron Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba each penned fresh terms this summer after Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli last season.
Arsenal’s best players have all committed their futures to the club in recent months as they believe in the project. Thus they see their futures at Emirates Stadium and sense the chance to lift trophies in north London. And Watts expects White and Odegaard to follow the trend.
Arsenal target new contracts for White and Odegaard
The Arsenal hierarchy has put a great emphasis on retaining the cream of the crop at Mikel Arteta’s disposal. Those to sign new deals have been instrumental in the Gunners’ return to the Champions League. So, Emirates Stadium chiefs moved hard to lock their futures down.
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Now, attentions at Emirates Stadium have shifted to White and Odegaard with their current contracts expiring in 2026 and 2025. Arsenal do have more urgent cases as six players are out of contract in 2024. But retaining the pillars of Arteta’s squad remains the club’s priority.
Watts doubts Arsenal will face any issues in convincing White and Odegaard to agree to sign new contracts, either. The reporter claims that progress regarding their futures could follow ‘pretty soon’, as well. Possibly further great news for Arsenal during a busy summer window.
White and Odegaard have more that earned new deals
Arsenal getting White and Odegaard to follow Ramsdale, Saka, Saliba, Gabriel and Martinelli to sign new contracts would be the cherry on top of an already sky-high Sunday for the club. Arteta has also signed Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber and Declan Rice over the summer so far.
White and Odegaard were among the most important stars in Arsenal’s run to second place in the 2022/23 Premier League. Arteta fielded White in all 38 of their games and started the 25-year-old in 36. While Odegaard played in 37 having missed one game with a minor injury.
Odegaard further ended the season as Arsenal’s joint-top scorer with Martinelli on 15 goals. He also laid on eight assists, marginally more than the five – plus two goals – that White had provided. White excelled in a previously unfamiliar role as a right-back throughout the term.
Arteta surprised many when White lined up at full-back against Crystal Palace in the opening fixture of the campaign. Yet the defender excelled along the wing. Even if Michael Owen still called White ‘underrated’ after later getting an assist against the Eagles at Emirates Stadium.
The England legend said on Premier League Productions (19/03, 16:10): “That combination play on that right-hand side, Ben White and Saka, is a very important one for Arsenal. White gets forward. He links play a lot of the time [and] he has got the pace, as well, to get back.”
Few players, though, influenced Arsenal’s season more than Odegaard. The Gunners’ £30m, rising to £34m, signing from Real Madrid in August 2021 led the way in his first campaign as the captain. His influence in most fixtures extended far beyond the goals he was involved in.