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Football Reporting


Odegaard proved he can mix up technical class with grit and determination, he’s more than up for battle

WHEN Arsenal splashed out £40million on Martin Odegaard late in the transfer window it looked like a desperation move.

The Norwegian was a target all summer in the playmaker role, but they were forced to move on.

Martin Odegaard scored a wonderful free-kick to give Arsenal all three points at Burnley


Martin Odegaard scored a wonderful free-kick to give Arsenal all three points at BurnleyCredit: Getty

Real Madrid have made it clear he wasn’t going anywhere until a change of heart – and need for cash – meant a last-minute U-turn.

And the 22-year-old showed at Burnley that a stroke of luck on the Gunners’ part might be the best business they did all summer.

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Not only was his goal – a 22-yard free-kick winner in a 1-0 victory at Turf Moore – of the highest class.

His all-round play was excellent, controlling and feeding, breaking up play with high energy and tempo throughout.

Odegaard was playing a lot deeper than he usually does, alongside the returning Thomas Partey in midfield.

But he showed a side of his game not many know him for and a fight that he’s not been forced to show in the past.

It’s been clear since a very young age the talent is there, with everyone in Europe knowing his name by the tender age of 16.

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Six years on and his career path has taken a different route from the dizzy-heights of Champions League football with Real.

Now he’s scrapping away in a relegation battle at Burnley, in an Arsenal team low on confident and fighting for their lives.

Make no mistakes, this was as an impressive performance from him as you’ll see all season, and not what you’d expect.

£40m well spent

Mikel Arteta’s side are bereft of confidence, and he showed he’s more than up for the battle to not be bullied at Burnley.

If he can mix up his game of pinpoint passing and energy with sheer grit and determination, he’ll be an instant hit at the Gunners.

While £40m might seem steep, it looks well spent on the early showings. Here’s to Martin Odegaard.

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