London (VG) Martin Odegaard’s career – with three loans and an uncertain future at Real Madrid – has former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (73) worried. But now the 24-year-old has found a “home”. He pleases the club’s former stars.
-I know all about my loan as a young player. You don’t feel at home. You think about your future all the time and what it will be like when you return to your club. It’s good that his mental peace is settled here.
This is what Giovanni van Bronckhorst told VG in the corridors of the Emirates Stadium.
A former Premier League winner with Arsenal, he captains the Dutch national team and served as a TV pundit when Arsenal drew in the London derby against Tottenham on Sunday.
For Martin Odegaard, the match was even after it became known on Friday that he had extended his contract with the big club until 2028.
The deal makes him the club’s highest-paid player, according to British media.
“I admire him incredibly,” says Van Bronckhorst.
The Dutchman, now 48, was, among other things, an art observer European Football AssociationEuropean Football AssociationEuropean Football Association During Arsenal’s opening Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven last week. He singled out Odegaard as the “best on the pitch” in the London club’s 4-0 win.
– I was a coach in Holland when he was on loan at both Heerenveen and Vitesse and I followed his career later. He’s one of the best players in the league when he’s playing like he is right now. He has a huge impact on the team and the fact that he signed a new contract has made him happy and Odegaard will probably get better and better.
But there are more people who are impressed. Alan Smith is an Arsenal legend, playing for the club for more than ten years and making more than 250 appearances for the club. He has also worked in various media outlets and as an expert for Sky Sports.
-He’s found a home here and you can see he’s enjoying it. He took responsibility, and always wanted to create things. Buying him for £30m…it was a bargain to say the least.
-I spoke to people after Arsenal bought him about it. They didn’t like it. But now he’s a fan favorite. Today he could go for more than £100m, claims Smith to VG.
In longer text on the website Players Tribune Odegaard told a story about a meeting with managerial legend Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman was Arsenal’s manager for many years and tried to sign Odegaard, but received a ‘no’ from the Norwegian when he had to choose a new club in early 2015 following his success at Stromsgodset.
Later, the two met when the 24-year-old became an Arsenal player.
“We had a good conversation and he mentioned that he followed me after I chose Madrid. He was honest and said that at one point he was worried about me and how things were going. But now he is very happy to see me in the right environment,” Odegaard wrote.
The Norwegian was proud when the contract extension became a reality last week.
-I felt at home here from day one. “It was an easy choice,” he told Drummen’s Tidende.
Henry Winter, The Times’ chief football writer, is full of praise:
– He represents the club in a great way. When he came to Arsenal I spoke to fans who asked me: “Is he strong enough mentally and physically?”.
– You cannot be like a butterfly in the English Premier League, but rather a big wasp. He has become important for Arsenal psychologically. Winter says he can handle pressure and is one of the most popular captains in Arsenal’s history.
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