Former Arsenal player and current talkSPORT pundit Ray Parlour has praised the north London club’s decision to sign Martin Odegaard ahead of James Maddison.
The north London club originally signed the 24-year-old on a loan deal from Real Madrid back in the 2021 January transfer window before securing him on a permanent deal that summer for an initial fee of £30m.
After scoring one of Arsenal’s goals in their recent 3-0 win over Fulham in the Premier League, the player has found himself on the end of some hefty praise.
Speaking on talkSPORT, Parlour had this to say about Odegaard and Arsenal’s decision to sign the midfielder.
He said:” He’s been a brilliant signing, Odegaard. They tried to go for Maddison, believe it or not, £60-70m and they couldn’t get him. They went [for] Odegaard, £30-35m – what a steal.
“Never injured, he always wants the ball, he’s always in tight situations in that No 10 [position]. He can see pictures, that’s why [he went to] Real Madrid as a youngster. Didn’t make it at Real Madrid, but now he’s such an important player for Arsenal.”
With 93 appearances for the Gunners to his name across all competitions, the Arsenal captain has scored 19 goals and delivered 14 assists along the way.
Across his 26 Premier League appearances this season, the Norwegian has scored 10 goals, deliver six assists and earn himself an overall performance rating of 7.36/10 from WhoScored, making him the third-highest-rated player in Mikel Arteta’s side that has started at least one league game.
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To compare that with Maddison from his current campaign, the Englishman only has two fewer goal contributions in the league than the Arsenal star and only a slightly lower overall performance rating (7.3/10), although not paying the reported £60m for him may not be a concern for many supporters given how impressive Odegaard has been.
In addition to this praise from Parlour, the Gunners captain also received some recognition recently as he was named as the Premier League Player of the Year at the 2023 London Football Awards.
Taking all of this into account, it’s clear that Odegaard is a vital player for Arsenal and that he has been very much deserving of this latest praise.