13 Mar 2022 | 13:05 | Football
Video Arteta praises Odegaard after Arsenal’s win
Martin Odegaard has been a central figure in Arsenal’s rise to the top of the Premier League table. The total number of goals and assists of the Norwegian midfielder is still modest, but this does not show that the star born in 1998 proved harmless.
Indeed, more than any other individual at Arsenal, Odegaard proved to be the most outstanding at the ball. Considering the list of players playing at least 600 minutes in the Premier League 2021/22, after each match, Odegaard leads in this aspect.
Specifically, according to Sky Sports, he created 2.4 opportunities, contributed 1.9 passes to create opportunities from live ball situations. He pocketed 21.4 passes directed into the opponent’s half of the field, 5.7 passes into the opponent’s penalty area and has an expected assist value of 0.2.
If there is a need to point out where change needs to be, Arteta encourages Odegaard to enter the box more often. This is understandable because the star born in 1998 has scored four goals from just 12 shots from within the penalty area this season. In return, although he did not finish much in the penalty area, the former Real player proved to be beneficial in long-range situations.
Odegaard is excellent, but all of his optimal qualities are best realized only if he is side by side with his teammate, Bukayo Saka. His telepathic insight with Bukayo Saka, who often operates on the right wing of Arsenal’s attack, played a key role in the team’s recent victory.
The two often pass the ball to each other. In the Premier League 2021/22, Odegaard looked to Saka 122 times. Saka did the same with 118 passes for Odegaard. They are the duo with the closest bond compared to the rest of Arsenal’s names
The result led to a change in the Gunner’s direction of attack. Last season, the left flank was their main source of attacking threat, with Kieran Tierney overlapping runs. But this time around, Arsenal are having a higher attack rate on the opposite flank, where the exchanges between Odegaard and Saka appear more frequently.
Odegaard is helping bring out the best in Saka and vice versa. This talented young duo is the inspiration to bring Arsenal to an advantage in the top 4 race.
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