Leeds United v Arsenal: Match in Pictures
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Arsenal legend Martin Keown has admitted he was wrong about Martin Odegaard. Keown was initially critical of Arsenal’s decision to sign Odegaard on a permanent deal following his loan spell in the second-half of last season. The Gunners signed the Norway captain for an initial £30million.
Odegaard has made 16 appearances in the Premier League so far this season, 12 as a starter.
He has scored four goals and registered his first assist of the campaign in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Leeds United.
Speaking in August, Keown claimed Odegaard had not done enough in his loan spell to convince him he was good enough for Arsenal.
“Odegaard came in after Boxing Day,” Keown told talkSPORT four months ago.
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“Yes the results improved largely. He played 16 times, nine starts, five [substitute appearances], one goal and two assists.
“I think [Emile] Smith Rowe is a better player in that position. But if the manager feels that Odegaard can bring something extra to the group then time will tell again.”
However, Keown now admits he has been proven wrong by Odegaard.
He is currently one of the players keeping Smith Rowe, Arsenal’s top scorer this season, out of the starting XI.
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“I will say that when he first came to the club, I wasn’t the biggest of fans, but I have to change that opinion now because he really is developing,” Keown said of Odegaard on Match of the Day.
“You see that clever movement that he has to receive the ball, he was first-class in that Arsenal midfield.
“He’s growing in stature. His confidence is really high, the manager has backed him, Smith Rowe’s been on the bench recently. He just seems to keep getting better and better.
“Controlling things now beautifully from an Arsenal [point of view]. Arsenal are really reliant upon him.
“For me he just seems to get better and better. He was at Real Madrid, it wasn’t really happening for him, but Arteta has found the best for him at Arsenal.”
Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy claims the end product was the only thing missing from Odegaard in his first spell at Arsenal.
Murphy said: “End product for him. When he first came, he was looking okay without the end product.
“Now he’s scoring goals and if you play as a 10 in any team, you’ve got to score goals.”
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