Handing Martin Odegaard the Arsenal captain's armband is a 'masterstroke from Mikel Arteta', claims Jamie Redknapp - because the young midfielder is 'his manager on the pitch'

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Handing Martin Odegaard the Arsenal captain's armband is a 'masterstroke from Mikel Arteta', claims Jamie Redknapp - because the young midfielder is 'his manager on the pitch'

  • Martin Odegaard has captained Arsenal to three consecutive league victories
  • Despite being just 23 years old, the Norwegian has led by example in midfield
  • The Arsenal captaincy has notoriously been a poisoned chalice in recent years

Mikel Arteta's decision to hand Martin Odegaard the Arsenal captaincy was a 'masterstroke', says Jamie Redknapp.  

Despite being just 23 years old, the Norwegian has worn the armband for the Gunners' last four matches and led the team to three consecutive wins. 

The captaincy at the Emirates Stadium has notoriously been a poisoned chalice in recent years, with the likes of Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all failing to lead by example. 

Martin Odegaard has captained Arsenal to three consecutive league victories in recent weeks

Martin Odegaard has captained Arsenal to three consecutive league victories in recent weeks

Martin Odegaard has captained Arsenal to three consecutive league victories in recent weeks

Arsenal have been without a permanent skipper since Aubameyang was stripped of the armband following a disciplinary breach in December.

Alexandre Lacazette has captained the side whenever he has played, but his displays have been disappointing and he has lost his place in recent weeks. 

However, in Odegaard, the Gunners may finally have found a player to lead them for years to come.  

'By bringing him into the team, they might have stumbled across a problem that's caused Arsenal for a few years, the captaincy,' Redknapp said on Sky Sports after Arsenal's 2-1 win over West Ham on Sunday. 

Jamie Redknapp says giving him the armband was a 'masterstroke' by manager Mikel Arteta

Jamie Redknapp says giving him the armband was a 'masterstroke' by manager Mikel Arteta

Redknapp described Odegaard as 'a lovely player to watch' and like a 'manager on the pitch'

Redknapp described Odegaard as 'a lovely player to watch' and like a 'manager on the pitch'

'Xhaka was captain for a while, didn't really work, [then] Aubameyang, then they give it to Lacazette. It was almost that no one wanted to be [captain].

'But giving it to Odegaard, it feels right for me. He may not be the most vocal but when you watch him play, he organises people, he plays the right pass. He's a lovely player to watch.

'You can see from Mikel Arteta's point of view, he's almost his manager on the pitch. It might be one where, he's there for the future, he's a fantastic player, good type of guy as well. It's a masterstroke from Arteta.'

Odegaard, who signed for Real Madrid at just 16 years old after bursting onto the scene, also captains the Norway national team. 

Odegaard, who is only 23 years old, also captains the Norwegian national team

Odegaard, who is only 23 years old, also captains the Norwegian national team 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after a disciplinary breach

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after a disciplinary breach

He completed a permanent move to Arsenal for £30million last summer after spending the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan from the Bernabeu.  

'He takes responsibility and that's quite rare for someone so young,' former Gunners striker Alan Smith added. 

'I know a lot of Arsenal fans were asking if they want him back, but there's not many like him and he's only going to get better. It's the youngest side and they are going to grow together and he's going to be the centre of it all.' 

Odegaard wears the Arsenal captain's armband against West Ham on Sunday evening

Odegaard wears the Arsenal captain's armband against West Ham on Sunday evening

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