Arsenal are relishing a near-perfect pre-season with four wins on the trot, including a 4-0 thumping of city rivals, Chelsea. The gaffer, Mikel Arteta has overseen a talented influx of new signings in the form of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fabio Vieira, and Matt Turner with talks currently ongoing with many others.
It’s without a shred of doubt that Arsenal are building an ace team that will go toe to toe for the Premier League title this season but every ship needs a captain to steer them through the rough terrain and as of now, the Gunners are without one.
After the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, the Gunners were devoid of a captain. But a certain someone has caught the eye of the manager and seems to be garnering support from the players to wear that coveted armband.
Post the final whistle in the game against Chelsea, Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny had the captain’s armband tied to his biceps. He quickly waltzed to the bench and saw Martin Odegaard coming toward him.
The duo embraced each other with a small hug and Elneny instantly removed the captain’s armband and gave it back to Odegaard. The Norwegian couldn’t help but smile at the senior pro’s actions and moved on to congratulate other players.
Odegaard, who has played and led the team in three of the four pre-season friendlies, has slowly emerged as the leading choice to become the next captain of the Gunners. The 23-year-old was a key player for Arteta in the 2021/22 season and often took the rein as captain in the absence of Aubameyang and Lacazette.
His quality of putting the team before himself has impressed Arteta. Odegaard also captains his national side of Norway and has received much appreciation from his peers for leading his country at such a tender age.
Arteta wants someone who the players listen to and look up to and Odegaard has indeed established himself as a pivotal part of Arsenal’s dressing room. The minor exchange with Elneny shows the mood and confidence that Odegaard exudes both on and off the pitch. It’s a no-brainer that Odegaard will be the next in line to wear the captain’s armband.
But the past two captains (Aubameyang and Lacazette) have suffered an abysmal fate and are no longer at the club. Witnessing Odegaard’s ascent at the club, fans fear that their budding midfielder might go through the same tragedy and exit the club. But words of assurance from Arteta have calmed the storm.
When the gaffer has words of praise for you, good things are coming your way. You just need to accept the opportunity with both hands. Hopefully, Odegaard will be the face of the renaissance at Arsenal.