Gary Neville was left impressed with the performance of Arsenal midfielder and captain Martin Odegaard in their 1-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park yesterday.
The Norwegian international was in fine form again in the middle of the park, controlling the tempo and dictating the pace of the game.
The hosts struggled to contain Odegaard, and Neville believes the Gunners star is slowly establishing himself as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League at the moment.
“Odegaard, it takes a lot to say this but when you think of the most beautiful football players that we’ve watched in the last seven or eight years in the Premier League I always think of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne being just something you watch and you’re like that’s the way to play football,” the Sky Sports pundit said on the Gary Neville podcast.
“And Odegaard, I’m not saying he’s as good as De Bruyne or Silva yet, I think he’s got a bit to go in his career, but he’s getting to a point whereby now when I watch him play, he is so smooth, it’s so silky.
“I knew he was always a talented player but we’re now talking about something that is very different and just talented, this is real class.
“I know that to be fair, a lot of people know that, but I think he now starts to be mentioned in the sort of realms. Pep Guardiola, I think if you said could take one Arsenal player out of this Arsenal team I think he’d take him in an absolute heartbeat.
“He would absolutely break into that Manchester City team because he’s a beautiful player to watch, and every time I watch him he gets better and better.
“Arsenal must recognise what they have, I’m talking about the Arsenal players who must feed him as much as they possibly can. The more he gets on the ball in the final third the more football matches, assists and goals they’ll have in matches.”
The 24-year-old has been a regular attacking threat since the start of last term and has already bagged two goals in five Premier League appearances in 2023-24.
Odegaard was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet yesterday and will be looking forward to doing better in front of goal going forward.
Scoring and assisting consistently are the things he needs to do to take his game to the next level, and bettering his return of 15 league goals and seven assists from last term should be top of his plans for this season.
De Bruyne is arguably the most creative number 10 in the Premier League right now, but Odegaard is inching closer and only needs to keep improving.
The Arsenal ace could not break into the first-team at Real Madrid but regularly displayed his huge talents and potential when sent out on loan.
He is out of contract in 2025 and talks are ongoing to extend his deal as the North Londoners know that the biggest clubs on the planet are monitoring the situation.
Getting Odegaard to commit his peak years to Arsenal will be huge, and he definitely has what it takes to be one of the best players in the world if he keeps improving at this rate.