Paul Merson has admitted that Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard has “proven him wrong” as he is a “top drawer” player for the Gunners.
The Norway international joined Arsenal on loan during the winter transfer window last year.
Odegaard played 20 times before the end of the 2020/21 campaign as Mikel Arteta‘s side finished eighth in the Premier League.
The Gunners paid €35m plus add-ons to sign the 23-year-old permanently from Real Madrid last summer.
Odegaard has silenced his doubters this term as he has been in superb form for Arsenal.
They currently sit fourth in the table and he has been one of their standout performers.
Merson has acknowledged that he “didn’t see” Odegaard having such a positive influence on Arsenal:
“Martin Odegaard has proved me wrong and is becoming the leader Arsenal need to pass their toughest test yet,” Merson wrote for The Daily Star.
“He is the main man there now and the first name on the teamsheet for me. He has really improved and is doing the business. I think the players respect him because they can see he’s a real player. I didn’t see it at first, I have to admit.
“It looked like he didn’t really want to leave Real Madrid, and I didn’t think he pulled up any trees on his loan spell at Arsenal. He could have sulked and lost his confidence when Madrid didn’t want him any more, but he’s playing better than ever now. He’s Arsenal’s go-to man and he makes them tick.
“He isn’t a leader in terms of running around and kicking people or barking out orders. But in terms of the way he’s playing he is. The way he’s turned it around people are looking at him now and fair play, he has done very, very well. He always wants the ball and knows how to use it. That’s leadership too.
“I take my hat off to him because he’s top, top drawer. One of the best in the Premier League in my opinion. The problem Arsenal have is everyone else plays before them when they come back from the international break.”
The post Merson admits ‘top drawer’ Arsenal star has ‘proven him wrong’ appeared first on Football365.