The Norway captain has not struggled to recreate the kind of fine form that saw Arsenal so keen to turn his previous loan spell into a permanent stay in the summer
It is via another loan stint (the fourth of his career by that point) that Odegaard’s and Arsenal’s paths first crossed, the Norwegian international joining Mikel Arteta ‘s side on a temporary basis in January of this year.
The early signs were promising and by late March, the 22-year-old had already endeared himself to many of the Arsenal faithful after his goal in the first of two victories over Spurs in 2021.
Particularly in the form of Arteta, so much so that the Gunners boss fought tooth and nail to bring the attacking midfielder back and did so with success – the Arsenal hierarchy signing off an £30m deal for Odegaard, ending his six years in the Spanish capital.
His second start to life at Arsenal began impressively enough, a stunning free-kick away at Burnley handed Arteta’s side all three points at a ground they drew last time around.
However, a steep decline was just around the corner – two successive starts in the back-to-back draws with Brighton and Crystal Palace respectively left many questioning Odegaard’s contribution.
From that game onwards, Arteta has opted in favour of deploying Alexandre Lacazette in a role that effectively renders Odegaard redundant, or at least unable to feature at the same time.
The Frenchman’s hustle and bustle, all-action, physical approach has worked a treat for an Arsenal side that have only just had their 10-game unbeaten run ended by title challengers Liverpool.
Odegaard has been forced to watch on from the side-lines for much of that impressive run, while all five of the other players signed in the same window have starred to varying degrees.
If he remains benched for the visit of the Toon Army, Odegaard may have grounds to panic he finds himself in a similar boat to his time in Spain.