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Martin Odegaard warned he may be forced to settle for minor Arsenal role

Martin Odegaard will need to “prove in training” why he deserves to start for Arsenal ahead of Emile Smith Rowe, according to Gunners legend Nigel Winterburn.

Real Madrid midfielder Odegaard, 22, completed a loan move to the Emirates earlier this week and his immaculate technique immediately caught the eye during his first training session.

But the Norway international may face a battle to earn a spot in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI due to the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe.

The 20-year-old has made the No.10 role his own in recent weeks, picking up three assists in his last six Premier League games.

The Norwegian impressed during his first session at London Colney

Smith Rowe’s introduction helped end Arsenal’s woes in front of goal and Winterburn insists Odegaard may struggle to displace the Englishman in the line-up.

“Emile Smith Rowe got his opportunity in the starting team by chance,” the former Gunners left-back told Free Super Tips .

“A lot of things were happening at the football club, and suddenly, he was thrown into the team because certain players weren’t available for selection.

Smith Rowe has established himself as a first-team regular in recent weeks
Smith Rowe has established himself as a first-team regular in recent weeks

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“By bringing in Martin Odegaard, Mikel Arteta needs to be careful of how he integrates him with Emile Smith Rowe.

“He [Smith Rowe] has come in and had such a huge impact in a short time, so Arteta won’t want to pull him out of the team.

“The manager will want a long-term project where Smith Rowe progresses into becoming a star of the future for Arsenal. Odegaard coming in increases competition for places. Smith Rowe is the starter now.

“If it’s a competition between him and Odegaard, then Odegaard must prove in training that he’s better than Emile Smith Rowe. If not, Smith Rowe will stay in the team.

“It’s an exciting time at Arsenal with three or four young players that could become long-term, successful players at the club.

“Players like Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli, among others could, over time, become quality Premier League players.”

Who should start at No.10 out of Smith Rowe and Odegaard? Have your say in the comments.

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