Martin Odegaard recorded two assists in Norway’s 2-0 win over Montenegro to become the best Under-23 creator in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The 23-year-old has now created 27 key assists and five big chances in eight qualifying games, leading Norway to second place in Group G and just two points behind the Dutch leaders.
Arsenal’s £ 31.5million summer signing from Real Madrid has so far ranked above Phil Foden, Kai Havertz and Mason Mount, despite having yet recorded a direct contribution to goals in the competition.
However, despite this, Odegaard commanded his country within easy reach of a flight to Qatar in the winter while operating in various positions, whether in eight, ten or on the wing.
By highlighting his ability to maintain top-tier creative output for Norway across a handful of positions, Odegaard has apparently solved Arsenal’s transfer dilemma over Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva interest.
The Mirror reported that over the summer Mikel Arteta’s side would have been enthusiastic about the arrival of the Portuguese midfielder, who can also play most positions in the bottom thirds of the pitch. .
Odegaard eventually swapped the Santiago Bernabeu for the Emirates to make his quick comeback, but the Norwegian’s recent successes and praise from his managers have reopened the door to a world where he and Silva can coexist.
If Arsenal signed Silva, Arteta wouldn’t hamper Odegaard’s minutes, but rather lighten the weight on his shoulders to perform week after week.
Suddenly an Arsenal roster with Odegaard in a three with Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey while Silva occupies a role on the wing or as a false nine doesn’t seem entirely impossible.
Norway boss Ståle Solbakken agrees with the principle in question, praising the Arsenal midfielder for his versatility.
Speaking in January 2021 following Odegaard’s first loan to the Emirates, Solbakken spoke with a Norwegian outlet VG on how his captain’s versatility and ability to create chances wherever he is played will serve him well at Arsenal.
“The way Arsenal play suits him well, a kind of football that looks good on him,” said the Norway boss, before highlighting how Odegaard can keep his levels high whether he is at ten, eight or on the top. ‘wing.
“He can also play in different midfield roles, depending on Mikel Arteta’s choice. He will get assists and be a good team player.”
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