Arsenal have secured the loan signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid to widespread fanfare.
With the Premier League to tackle along with other cup competitions, securing another player with creative qualities was essential to releasing the strain on the squad and to aid in rotation.
Emile Smith Rowe has been exquisite since coming into the fold at the end of December, flying the flag for inventiveness in the final third and playing an integral role in the Gunners’ recent run of form.
Still only 20 years old and boasting just a handful of senior outings to his name, it became apparent that he couldn’t bear this burden all on his own. Naturally, if possible, he would.
Having now secured their man, how could Mikel Arteta go about using Martin Odegaard in the team?
3 ways Arsenal could use Martin Odegaard
The first one is fairly obvious: Smith Rowe cover.
Operating at his best level to date in front of a double midfield pivot, Smith Rowe’s intelligent running off the ball and understanding of space make him a constant threat in between the lines. Picking up positions in the half-spaces and given the freedom to do much of his work in wide areas, Arsenal have been a vastly improved outfit as a result.
He makes smart (sexy) runs that no other player in the squad makes, which means without him Arsenal lose their attacking potency and fluidity in advanced areas.
There will come a point where the Gunners will have to be without him though, since he will need rest as the club embark on the second half of the season.
Securing Odegaard, someone who thrives in the half-spaces and proved with his performances last season that he can have a positive impact in progressive moves, is about as good as Arsenal could have hoped for. Technically sound, effective in tight situations and boasting intelligence on and off the ball, when he eventually finds his feet in English football he will be superb cover.
He’ll need to, as well, since the deal will cost Arsenal in the region of £6m.