Cedric picks out Odegaard trait helping him settle at Arsenal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Martin Odegaard, Granit Xhaka Arsenal celebration TEAMtalk

Arsenal defender Cedric Soares has heaped praise on loan signing Martin Odegaard and feels he has a “big future” in the game.

Odegaard, 21, join the Gunners on loan until the end of the season last month. The Norway international was struggling for action at Real Madrid and it seemed a perfect move for all parties concerned.

Having cut his teeth with Real Madrid Castilla, the youngster made his first-team debut in May 2015. However, opportunities have been few and far between since then.

He has spent time on loan with SC Heerenveen and Vitesse in the Netherlands. And the midfielder impressed while on loan with La Liga side Real Sociedad in 2019-2020.

He enjoyed his first start for Arsenal in last Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Leeds United at the Emirates. That was his third outing for the north Londoners and Cedric has been impressed.

“He has been excellent,” he said. “He’s a very nice guy. He’s talking with everyone and speaks lots of Spanish, so he has been talking with everyone.

“I think all the team is welcoming him very well.”

Odegaard played the first 78 minutes against Marcelo Bielsa’s side before giving way to Mohamed Elneny. He lined up alongside Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka supporting hat-trick hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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Cedric felt he did everything asked of him by manager Mikel Arteta. And the Portugal defender picked out one trait that will stand him in good stead.

“I think he had a good game,” he added. “We won the game so everything was positive. Right now, I just have positive things to say about him.

“He’s a calm person but I think he’s bringing a lot of quality to the squad and he has been excellent. I’m sure he will keep growing as a player. He has a big future ahead of him.”

Manager echoes Cedric’s thoughts

Odegaard’s relationship with Real chief Zinedine Zidane is said to be strained at best. It is unclear whether he has a future at the Bernabeu while the Frenchman is at the helm.

That could open to door for a permanent switch to the Gunners. He is valued at around €60m and Arsenal would need to sell before they stumped up that figure.

Cedric Soares 2021 TEAMtalk

But Arteta seems keen after watching his display against the Whites.

“Big credit to him. His first Premier League start against Leeds, considering he’s not played much football in three months, he was great,” said the Spaniard. “To run the way he did, the way he was comfortable and creative on the ball and the personality he showed was great.”


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