Martin Keown spots Arsenal players ‘ignoring’ Martin Odegaard in worrying sign
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Martin Odegaard is starting to feature more regularly at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, and he showed flashes of why he was once coveted as the most exciting youngster on the planet in the recent draw with Benfica. However, Martin Keown raised a worrying concern about his standing in the Gunners side.
Martin Keown claims that Arsenal players were “ignoring” Martin Odegaard during the draw with Benfica on Thursday night.
Real Madrid loanee Odegaard was handed his second consecutive start in the 1-1 draw with Benfica after seeing out the majority of last weekend’s win over Leeds.
And the Norwegian showed glimpses in the Europa League clash of why he was once coveted as the most exciting youngster on the planet.
Odegaard was always available for a pass and looked to recycle possession when possible, showing smatterings of a Mesut Ozil-type performance.
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However, Arsenal legend Keown admits that while Odegaard is exactly the sort of player Mikel Arteta has been crying out for, his team-mates need to give him the ball more so he can produce some magic.
“Odegaard is a player it looks like Arsenal want to wait for,” Keown told talkSPORT.
“Yesterday there were flashes of really good play, really good vision and he’s a real technician.
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“But the Arsenal players at times were ignoring him, they weren’t giving him the ball enough. That’s something they maybe want to look at.
“If you’re going to have a spare man in midfield you’ve got to use him, and he’s definitely got the talent to pick people out.
“But we’ll see how he performs. He only played in a handful of games for Real Madrid this season so he needs to get fit.
“Arteta is leaving him on for as long as he can in games so he can get that fitness, but he’s going to have to turn up and start performing, and this weekend is another huge game for Arsenal [against Man City].”
Odegaard recently hinted at the possibility of a longer stay in north London.
“You never know what happens, but first of all my focus is about the rest of the season,” he said.
“Hopefully (I will) help the team, and then we’ll see what happens.”
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