Mikel Arteta drops hint about Martin Odegaard at Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has hinted that he would like to make Martin Odegaard’s loan move to Arsenal a permanent one.

The north London side signed the Norway international on loan last month as Arteta moved to bolster his attacking options at The Emirates.

Odegaard has already notched up a handful of displays for the Gunners as he bids to help the north London team to challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Arsenal signed Odegaard on a six-month loan deal from Real Madrid, and as things stand the 22-year-old is due to return to the Bernabeu at the end of the current campaign.

However, Arteta has now hinted that he would like to consider making Odegaard’s move to The Emirates a permanent one in the summer.

Speaking at a news conference before Arsenal’s clash with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, Arteta said: “We have Martin for a few months from Real Madrid and first of all we have to maximise this time with him to try to bring to the team all the qualities he has.

“At the end of the season we will sit together and decide where we can take that relationship forward. At the moment it doesn’t just depend on us.”

Arteta continued: “On the pitch he is showing a lot of character and a lot of intelligence. They are characteristics that a leader should have.

“He has been here a very short time but he has adapted very quickly. He is getting more and more respect from the players and the staff and his weight on the team will increase with every week.”

Arsenal are back in Europa League action on Thursday night when they take on Benfica in the return leg of their last-32 tie, with the first leg having ended as a 1-1 draw.

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