Martin Odegaard believes that having younger players take on leadership responsibilities “brings out the best” in the Arsenal squad.
The Norway midfielder, who is 23 years old, led the Gunners to a 2-0 victory over Everton in a friendly match that was played in Baltimore over the weekend.
After Alexandre Lacazette’s departure to Lyon, manager Mikel Arteta is trying to name a new leader for the team.
Odegaard responded to a question from BBC Sport regarding his leadership abilities by saying, “I think I’ve maybe improved that quality a little bit with the time and experience.”
A further statement he made was as follows: “I’ve been through a lot of things, ups and downs, and I think all that makes you stronger.”
Odegaard, who already captains his country, is one of a number of young prospects at the club. Other young talents at the club include Bukayo Saka, 20, Emile Smith Rowe, 21, and Gabriel Martinelli, 21. Odegaard currently serves as the captain of his country.
This summer, Arteta also brought on midfielder Fabio Vieira, who is 22 years old, and forward Gabriel Jesus, who is 25 years old.
Odegaard is of the opinion that the present team has “already endured a lot,” and he refers to his younger teammates as “huge, big abilities.”
In August 2014, at the age of 15 years and 253 days, he made his debut for Norway’s senior national team in a friendly match against the United Arab Emirates. This came just four months after he made his senior debut with Stromsgodset in his home country. He went on to gain significant experience from a young age. In fact, he became Norway’s youngest-ever senior international player.
After signing with Real Madrid in 2015, he later moved on to play on loan for Heerenveen, Vitesse, and Real Sociedad before signing with Arsenal in 2021.
Odegaard asserts that he is able to “share that experience” with the other members of his team because he has participated in “a lot of games on a high level.”
He expressed his thoughts by saying, “I feel more confident and more relaxed on the pitch so I just try to use that in a good way and do what is best for the team.”
Even if you’re a young person, I believe everyone in this community expects you to take on a leadership role.
“That gets the best out of the new boys coming through, so definitely I believe everyone here feels like they need to be on their best and they need to take part in and take ownership of whatever we do,” said the head coach.
Arsenal, who finished fifth in the Premier League the previous season, are currently on a pre-season tour in the United States, where they will play games against Orlando City and Chelsea this week. Arsenal did not qualify for a spot in the Champions League because they finished fifth in the Premier League.
Odegaard continued by saying, “I know we have a large fans here and a significant amount of support, so it’s fantastic to come here and to play in front of them and then maybe make them happy with the games and give them some good moments. ”
“When you travel like this, you see how huge the club is, and then you see the support we have all over the world,” said one player. “It’s incredible.”