Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta heaped praise on Martin Odegaard ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Leeds United on Saturday evening.
The Norwegian joined the Gunners on a permanent deal from Real Madrid over the summer, and he is now regarded as an integral part of the manager’s plans.
Odegaard has netted four goals in the Premier League this term. Three of those have come in the last four appearances for the north London giants.
Speaking in today’s press conference, Arteta said that Odegaard is a natural leader, and the club have a tremendous player, who is getting close to his best level.
He told football.london: “He’s a natural leader. If you look for the perfect professional you don’t have to look much further than him.”
“He’s very young but he already has a lot of experience. He’s getting close to his best level. We’ve got a tremendous player there.”
Odegaard made a slow start to the campaign, and found himself out of contention for a starting role.
However, he has looked a different player since the November international break. The Norwegian has made regular runs into the box, making his mark with three goals from four outings.
After netting for three successive games, his performance dropped off against West Ham United in midweek. Emile Smith Rowe, who replaced him off the bench, found the back of the net.
With the fixtures come thick and fast for the Gunners, Arteta may look to rotate his options around. It won’t be a surprise if the birthday boy features on the bench against Leeds tomorrow.
The Gunners recently jumped to the fourth spot on the table. With West Ham and Manchester United having their games postponed, they have a superb chance to extend their slim advantage.
Leeds have plenty of injury concerns. The Gunners should be favourites to pick up maximum points at Elland Road.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
Read: Predicted Arsenal line-up vs Leeds United, Smith Rowe returns.