The Norwegian playmaker swapped Real Madrid for north London until the end of the season in January having made only seven LaLiga appearances in the first half of 2020/21.
Odegaard’s influence has steadily grown at Arsenal, with the 22-year-old enjoying a starring role in Sunday’s dramatic 3-3 comeback draw against capital rivals West Ham in the Premier League.
Afterwards, Arteta was eager to single out the former Real Sociedad loanee for his “incredible” performance, full of “intelligence” and “composure” that helped the defensively suspect Gunners to come back from 3-0 down to earn an unlikely point.
“The way he steps on the pitch, he always wants the ball, the way he commands the pressing. He’s been really influential,” Arteta said, hailing Odegaard as a “real character”.
Arsenal’s loan agreement for Odegaard crucially does not contain an option for the club to secure a permanent deal in the summer and it remains to be seen if he will be content to return to Madrid or else push for a full-time move to the Emirates Stadium.
Quizzed about his future by Norwegian publication VG ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Gibraltar, Turkey and Montenegro this week, Odegaard said: “I have an agreement until the summer and I am focusing on that. I want stability and development, those are key words.”
On his time at Arsenal so far, he added: “I think it has been rising really, right from the start. I took the way we played quite early. I also lacked a little self-confidence and things like that, and I feel I have gotten better and better every day.”
Odegaard seems very happy working under Arteta, adding: “He is incredibly good, and there is a lot to learn from him.”