Arsenal

Arsenal have ‘decided’ their new captain as Mikel Arteta holds key meeting in London

Arsenal have ‘decided’ their new captain as Mikel Arteta holds key meeting in London

Martin Odegaard will become Arsenal’s new captain, according to his Norway national team manager Stale Solbakken.

The 23-year-old joined the Gunners on a permanent transfer from Real Madrid last summer after a successful loan spell at the club.

Odegaard has since played an integral role in Arsenal’s push up the Premier League table, with Mikel Arteta’s side currently in the race to secure a Champions League spot.

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Arteta’s side are currently captained by Alexandre Lacazette who will be a free agent this summer, making it likely that a new skipper will be named ahead of the 2022/23 season.

According to Solbakken, who recently met Arteta in London to discuss football, Odegaard’s work ethic and leadership qualities have made him a key player for both club and country.

“Arteta has a bit of the same view as I have of Martin: He is a player that you want in the last third, one who should deliver both goals and assists,” Solbakken told Norwegian outlet VG.

“But we also share the view that he is so much more than that. That he uses his running capacity and smartness in the defensive game, that he has become a leader, that he has great tactical understanding.

“This is where we need to go from. That is the problem in Norway: With the expectations he has there, he has to tear up the list. I look at him as much as a “second-assist player” as an assist player, says the national team manager.”

Solbakken believes that Odegaard’s best matches for Norway have been in a central midfield role in a 4-1-4-1 formation, while his similar position at Arsenal has made him vital in bringing others into play and creating opportunities for his teammates.

When asked whether he thinks Odegaard will become Arsenal captain, Solbakken replied:

“Yes! I think so. But it’s not up to me, and I did not talk to Arteta about this.”

Arsenal’s leadership group currently rotates the armband with the likes of Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding among those considered leaders in the squad.

The Gunners face Leicester City on Sunday afternoon with Arteta’s side hoping to continue their excellent recent form which has seen them win their last four consecutive league games.

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