Arsenal legend Ian Wright has hailed the loan signing of Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard as a “magnificent coup” but also raised two concerns about the deal.
The former Gunners striker sounded pleased to see Odegaard arriving, and most fans will surely also be thrilled with this deal as it strengthens a clear area of weakness in Mikel Arteta’s squad.
With Mesut Ozil leaving for Fenerbahce this January, some more creativity was badly needed in the Arsenal team, and Odegaard should provide that.
The talented young Norway international shone on loan at Real Sociedad last season, showing what he can do when he’s given more playing time than he’s been able to get so far in his time in Madrid.
Wright is unsure, however, if this deal might be good for emerging Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe, who has been a stand-out performer since being brought into the team by Arteta lately.
Speaking on his podcast Wrighty’s House, the former England international also questioned if Odegaard was ready for Premier League football.
“With Odegaard, he’s the player we need. We need that guy to back up Emile Smith Rowe,” Wright said.
“I’m hoping it doesn’t make Emile feel like, ‘oh no, I’m just getting my motor revved up and this is happening’.
“You have to always think the club is getting ready to replace you. I played every week thinking Arsenal are going to bring someone else in, you have to play like that because it will drive you on in training.”
He added: “I think it’s a magnificent coup, it’s exactly what we need.
“I’m looking at Kai Havertz, you see [Mesut] Ozil is moving on, he [Odegaard] seems to have the same physique as those guys.
“What I’ve seen of him, he’s left-foot looks really good. The only question is is he ready for us, is he ready for the Premier League?”