Arsenal legend admits he was wrong about Gunners star getting ‘better and better’

Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu hugging Martin Odegaard 2021

Martin Keown admits he was wrong about Martin Odegaard after picking out the midfielder for special praise following Arsenal’s 4-1 rout of Leeds on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s men produced a superb first-half display at Elland Road, with Gabriel Martinelli scoring twice and Bukayo Saka also on target to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at the break. Raphinha did pull one back from the penalty spot for the injury-hit hosts before Emile Smith Rowe added a fourth for Arsenal to secure their grip on fourth spot.

And Gunners legend Keown was impressed by his old team’s performance. But it was former Real Madrid star Odegaard who earned most of the plaudits from the pundit.

“I will say that when he first came to the club, I was not his biggest fan. But I have to change that opinion now because he really is developing,’ Keown said of Odegaard on BBC’s 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. For me he’s just getting better and better.”

Arsenal are currently four points clear of fifth-placed West Ham, with the Hammers and sixth-placed Manchester United not playing this weekend due to Covind postponements.

Arsenal eyeing Arthur Melo from Juventus

Arsenal are reportedly keen on a January deal for Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo, with the Brazil international keen on quitting the Serie A giants in the New Year.

“It puts pressure on them,” Arteta said after the game. “We were really lucky to play today with everything that’s happening.

“I told the players to enjoy the game and give everything because I don’t know how this will develop.”

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Juve star keen on move

Meanwhile, Fabio Paratici is the ‘number one fan’ of a Juventus forward and Arsenal target whose price has been reaffirmed, and the player ‘wouldn’t be opposed’ to a move, per a report.

Seeing Tottenham linked with Juventus raids should not come as a surprise. Indeed, both Antonio Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici spent significant spells of their careers at the club.

As such, few will have been surprised to see Spurs touted as a landing spot for Juventus and Sweden winger, Dejan Kulusevski.

The 21-year-old has fallen out of favour under Max Allegri this term. However, according to Sport Witness (citing Corriere Torino), that has not diminished him in Paratici’s eyes.

Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus FC); Matias Vina (AS Roma) in Serie A match at Allianz Stadium. The Sweden winger is tipped for an Arsenal transfer

Paratici pulled the strings to bring Kulusevski to Turin in 2020. In the present day, the article states he remains the ‘number one fan’ of the lively winger.

Calciomercato recently reported that Tottenham scouts were in attendance to see Kulusevski in action versus Genoa on December 5.

Adding further fuel to the fire was the claim Spurs – as well as Arsenal – were in contact with the player’s agent, Alessandro Lucci. The Gunners are also known admirers of the Swede, and are believed to have formulated their own January plans.

Kulusevski warming to switch; Arsenal, Tottenham circle

The most recent Sport Witness report confirms many of the prior details regarding a Kulusevski deal.

They reaffirm Juventus are open to his sale, and are seeking around €35m for his signature. Earlier reports suggested the north London clubs were pursuing loan deals with an option to buy.

England is described as his ‘next destination’, with both Arsenal and Spurs prepared to ‘sink the blow in January’.

On the player’s end, Kulusevski is reportedly open to a change of scenery and ‘wouldn’t oppose’ a switch.

And with Paratici holding good relations with Juventus and having signed the player once before, it would appear Spurs are best placed to snag the player he remains a huge admirer of.

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