Gary Lineker has admitted his surprise at Real Madrid letting Martin Odegaard leave following his man-of-the-match performance against Fulham on Saturday.
THE LOWDOWN: KEY PLAYER
Martin Odegaard arrived from Real Madrid initially on loan before the Gunners paid £34m to sign him permanently. Since then, he has been an important player for the North London outfit under Mikel Arteta and has been a prominent figure in the dressing room.
Just before the start of this season, Arteta named him as the club’s new captain, and just like the team, he has started the season brightly, scoring twice in the 3-0 win at Bournemouth on match week three. However, the midfielder turned it up a bit against Fulham on Saturday, as the Gunners came back to win from a goal down.
The Norwegian was flawless in his performance to lead his side to victory. It was a top performance from the 23-year-old and it caught the attention of an individual who saw the game.
THE LATEST: PUNDIT’S REACTION
Gary Lineker is still unsure why Real Madrid let Martin Odegaard leave after his performance for Arsenal in their latest victory against Fulham on Saturday.
The former Everton man was impressed by the Norwegian’s performance and admitted after the game that he cannot quite believe how the Gunners managed to sign the player.
“Do you know what baffles me a little bit is how have Real Madrid let him slip away when they’ve got Modric and Kroos who are really near the end of their career? It’s a strange one because he’s so clearly talented,” he told Match of the Day.
The Norwegian equalized when his effort was deflected. But he arguably deserved that slice of luck for all of the moments of quality leading up to the goal. Defender Gabriel Magalhães struck home the winner in the dying embers of the game.
THE VERDICT: ODEGAARD IS VALUABLE
Martin Odegaard, since being named skipper of the side, is yet to put a foot wrong for the Gunners. He keeps getting better and he is just 23 years of age. Not only is Odegaard a key player, but he is, of course, a leader at the Emirates.
Madrid may now rue letting him go. But given the role Odegaard has at Arsenal, he will certainly feel that he made the right choice in moving to the Emirates permanently last year.
Odegaard and Arsenal will hope to continue their fine form when they host Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium this mid-week.