Martin Odegaard is hesitant to compare himself to former Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, but acknowledges that being compared to a recent World Cup-winning Gunners star is a “huge praise.”
The Norway international is thriving in north London, with some describing him as a natural successor to a World Cup-winning playmaker.
The prevailing perception is that an ex-Germany international who spent seven and a half years at Emirates Stadium as the No.10 never fully realized his potential in English football.
There was no denying Ozil’s creative abilities, and Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard has been tasked with following in the footsteps of another big-money signing who came before him.
What’s been said so far?
“I’m not a big fan of comparing myself to other players,” he said TV2, “but I accept it as a huge compliment.” He was a player I admired greatly. When I was little, he was one of my favorites.
“I believe I am in excellent physical condition. It’s difficult to compare things to what you’ve done before, but I believe I consistently perform at a high level.”
The overall picture
Odegaard has had to wait for a regular role in Mikel Arteta’s plans at times this season, but he has been shining recently as Arsenal pushes their way into top-four contention.
He’s loving his football after failing to live up to expectations at Real Madrid following a high-profile move as a 16-year-old, and he’s at ease in north London.
“I feel like I’m at a fantastic spot in life,” the 23-year-old continued.
“I’m content and flourishing here.” It’s a pleasant group, a pleasant team, and a pleasant environment. I’m also closer to my family.”
He went on to say of Arteta and his chances of following in the footsteps of current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola – his coaching mentor – in becoming one of the best in the business: “I believe he possesses all of the necessary qualities. He is already a top manager, and I believe he will continue to be for many years.
“He’s young, like our team, and he’ll only improve.” I believe we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.”
Arsenal beat Watford 3-2 in their most recent match, with Odegaard scoring, and they are now fourth in the Premier League league, with games in hand on everyone else.