One Gunners midfielder is hoping that another remains alongside him at Emirates Stadium beyond the end of an initial loan from Real Madrid
Martin Odegaard is future captain material at Arsenal, says Mohamed Elneny, with a fellow midfielder at Emirates Stadium making no secret of his “wish” to see a permanent deal wrapped up for the Norwegian playmaker.
The Gunners took a talented 22-year-old on loan from Real Madrid during the winter transfer window.
Odegaard has made a positive impression at Emirates Stadium and is considered to boast the potential that could make him an on-field leader in north London if a long-term deal with the Blancos can be struck.
What has been said?
Elneny has told VGTV of a hot prospect that first burst onto the scene as a precociously-gifted 15-year-old: “You always see him coaching players, outside of the dressing room as well.
“He talks all the time about the game and what we are going to do. He has the personality to be a captain.”
Can Arsenal keep Odegaard on their books?
There is no purchase option in the agreement that took Odegaard to England from Madrid.
He has, however, struggled to make the desired impact in Spain after finding first-team opportunities hard to come by at Santiago Bernabeu.
Odegaard has hinted that an extended stay at Arsenal could be put in place, as he is thoroughly enjoying his time under Mikel Arteta.
Elneny hopes a deal will be explored, adding when asked if those in the Gunners camp would like to see the Norway international stay: “We wish, we wish, we wish.”
The bigger picture
Odegaard has already taken on one armband this season, with it revealed that he will be filling captaincy duties with his country.
He will have ambitions of taking on a similar role at club level at some stage in the future.
For now, though, his full focus is locked on finishing the current campaign as positively as possible.
A top-four finish appears to be beyond Arsenal in the Premier League, as they sit 10 points off the pace, but progress has been made to the Europa League quarter-finals.
Major silverware is, therefore, still up for grabs, with Odegaard looking to aid that cause as he builds on the two goals he has contributed to the Gunners’ collective cause across 11 appearances.