Martin Odegaard is Arsenal’s new skipper – and the general consensus is aligned, for once.
The majority believe that the Norwegian playmaker is the standout candidate to lead this exciting Gunners side. His experience in La Liga, training with the world’s best at the Bernabeu and his extensive national learning, gives Odegaard the exposure that belies his age.
The 23 year old is the joint-youngest skipper on the Premier League this season – both Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Declan Rice of West Ham are both 23 – but despite his tender years, his experience and leadership give him the tools necessary to lead the troops out – and rouse them when the game is slipping.
Odegaard is the skipper for his country too and this is a big indicator why he is the right choice for the captain’s armband – but it isn’t the clincher.
Last season saw Odegaard push himself to the limit on the pitch in order to lift his side when it needed it most. He was amongst the highest ranked for distance covered in our squad – and his chances created stats were far and away the best in our pool of players. If we could have called on a recognised, established striker in our last campaign, things could’ve been very different.
But this season, we have that player – and in pre-season Jesus has shown he’s the man to capitalise on the intelligence of Odegaard and the chaos caused by Saka.
The player acquisitions from Arteta and Edu have been astute so far. The capture of Vieira, Marquinhos, Jesus and Zinchenko address deficiencies that affected us last season and we have added to the quality we already had.
And Odegaard is acclimatised to the PL this season. The Norwegian’s rapid footwork and his ability to instantly put Arsenal on the front foot is a galvanising effect on our team – but his workrate is an example to the younger players – those kids that made our squad the youngest in the Premier League by some distance.
Odegaard will show them what is expected. He will be the man to ensure the messages and instructions from Arteta are succinctly carried out – the very same messages that Xhaka mentioned after our crushing loss to Newcastle in last-season’s run-in. Xhaka bemoaned his side’s inability to carry out the gameplan that Arteta had set out.
With Odegaard wearing the armband, the younger players will look to him and Odegaard will lead by example.
And after years of our squad lacking bona fide leaders, we have a pool of players who seem to be willing to take responsibility.
Kieran Tierney, Aaron Ramsdale, Gabriel, Ben White, Xhaka – these are players that genuinely appear to be able to step up and be counted – are vocal and actively look to push their teammates.
But Odegaard is the player who will lead Arsenal this season – and with the Norwegian as skipper, we can push on for much more.
Do you think Odegaard is the right choice? Comments below for your verdict!