Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta recently opened up about his captain Martin Odegaard, speaking about how he is off the pitch.
Odegaard joined the Gunners on a six-month loan from Real Madrid in January 2021. His move was then made permanent that summer and he has been a key player for the north London side.
Following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, Arteta named Odegaard Arsenal's captain last summer. The 24-year-old has taken up the role well and has shown great maturity and leadership on the pitch.
In a pre-match press conference ahead of the North London Derby, Arteta was asked about the Norwegian midfielder and he replied (via football.london):
“I think it’s a really good balance. You notice him around the building all the time because he’s doing the right things. When he needs to get into fun, he’s quite funny. I’m really happy to have him as a captain."
Odegaard has scored 27 goals and provided 15 assists in 112 games for the Gunners.
Under his captaincy, Arsenal competed valiantly for the Premier League title last season. However, they faltered towards the end, leading to Manchester City retaining the title.
Martin Odegaard reacts after signing a new contract with Arsenal
The Gunners announced on Friday (September 22) that Martin Odegaard has signed a new contract, which will keep him at the club until 2028.
The Norwegian has joined the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, and William Saliba in signing new Arsenal contracts in the last 12 months. After the announcement, Odegaard spoke about his decision to extend his stay at the Emirates, saying (via the club's website):
“Signing a new contract was a really easy decision for me for lots of reasons. Mainly what we are doing right now as a club is special, and I want to be a part of that. I’m really excited for what’s to come here. I’ve found a place where I can be really settled and call my home.
“My story is a bit different maybe, as I moved around different clubs since I was 16. At Arsenal, since the first day, I’ve felt great and this is definitely my home now. I just want to say thanks to everyone working at the club and of course, our fantastic supporters. I will continue to give everything to bring success to this club in the years to come.”
Odegaard has been excellent for the Gunners this season as well, scoring three goals in seven games across competitions. He will next captain his side in a massive derby fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, September 24.