Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has explained why he’s worried about Arsenal’s potentially imminent signing of Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard.
The pundit admits he’d be “devastated” if he saw Odegaard come in and take the place of in-form youngster Emile Smith Rowe in Mikel Arteta’s side following his superb recent impact in the first-team.
Smith Rowe looks a huge talent and has more than earned his run in the Arsenal side, but Odegaard’s loan move to the Emirates Stadium now looks close to going through, according to Fabrizio Romano in the tweet below…
Martin Ødegaard is now ready to sign his contract as new Arsenal player – after the two clubs completed paperworks yesterday. Loan until the end of the season, then #AFC and Real Madrid will discuss about him and Ceballos. But as of today it’s a simple loan. ??? #transfers
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 25, 2021
The Norway international plays in a similar position to Smith Rowe and could be seen as a more proven and experienced option in that area of the pitch.
Arteta might do well not to rely too much on a young player like Smith Rowe, but at the same time Ferdinand has heaped praise on the 20-year-old and admitted he’s concerned about his progress being hampered by Odegaard.
“I’ve heard about this kid for a long time now,” Ferdinand told his Five YouTube channel. “He had a good loan spell in Spain at Sociedad and did really well.
“He’s got potential, 100%. It’s about Mikel Arteta unlocking that.
“I think this kid is a talent, there’s no doubting that. But he’s got to find a home now. Hopefully at Arsenal.
“I want him to do well. Arteta had a reputation when he was at City and now here at Arsenal for getting the best out of young players, hopefully that follows true with this player.
“That’s the only thing that worries me. If he comes in and takes someone like Emile Smith Rowe’s position, I’ll be devastated.
“Because he’s come in and done unreal things. The way he’s played, he’s been a breath of fresh air at Arsenal, I’m sure the fans if they were there would be going crazy about him.
“He brings assists, he brings a calmness to the way Arsenal play. He’s the type of player who could have played over a number of generations at Arsenal in the way he plays football.
“So I hope he doesn’t come in and kind of stunt his growth in the team because he’s been really good the last few weeks.”