Arsenal: Arteta hails Odegaard's leadership qualities
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants the club to permanently sign Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid, according to reports. Both players are currently on loan at the Emirates Stadium. However, the Gunners may have their work cut out if they attempt to land the duo when the transfer window reopens at the end of the campaign.
Arsenal decided to recruit Ceballos on loan back in the summer for a second consecutive year.
And though the Spain international hasn’t always been a regular, he’s done well enough when called upon this term.
As for Odegaard, Arsenal only signed the Norway international in the January transfer window.
Yet while he’s made just four appearances for the Gunners, and is yet to score or register an assist, he could be set to stay.
Sport say Arteta is keen for both players to remain at Arsenal as he plots a way forward over the coming years ahead.
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And Real, when it comes to Ceballos, are happy to do business.
He’s currently not in Zinedine Zidane’s plans, even though the Frenchman is looking increasingly likely to leave at the end of the season.
But, having allowed the 24-year-old to spend the last two years playing his football away from the Bernabeu, it seems Real will agree to an exit this summer.
With Odegaard, though, things seem different.
It’s claimed Real still believe the playmaker ‘can be one of the pillars of the future’.
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But they may need Zidane to go in order to keep hold of Odegaard, who has made it clear he won’t return if the Frenchman stays in charge.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal star Martin Keown has admitted he’s got reservations over Odegaard following the club’s 1-1 draw with Benfica on Thursday night.
The 54-year-old told BT Sport: “A lot of the problems for the Arsenal team is finding that spare player.
“It’s been Smith Rowe in the recent run. Odegaard has been given the luxury of playing in there.
“We’re still waiting to see, I think there’s a player under there but he’s not played much football for Real Madrid, maybe seven or eight games this season, maybe a bit short of fitness.
“But if you don’t give him the ball you can’t see what he’s capable of, but there were moments when he had the ball, good passes.
“He does really well for the goal, he’s a player they want to try and build around.
“The reservations I have is Smith Rowe was playing especially well in that position.
“Now, perhaps he [Arteta] didn’t feel he was getting enough from [Nicolas] Pepe defensively so Smith Rowe’s gone into that position.
“Now you’ve got Saka and Smith Rowe in wide positions.
“They have really good movement, tuck inside nicely, they give that space for the full-backs to get wide and they know when to press.
“But maybe they lose a little bit, for the time being, until Odegaard is ready to match speed. There were glimpses of really good play.”
Arsenal are next in action against Manchester City on Sunday.
Arteta’s side lost at the Etihad earlier in the season – but did get the better of Pep Guardiola’s men in the FA Cup last term.
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