Soccer

Odegaard prediction made by Arsenal team-mate after first Premier League start

Arsenal defender Cedric Soares believes Martin Odegaard "has a big future ahead of him".

Odegaard arrived at the Gunners last month on a loan deal from Real Madrid until the end of the season, but has had to be patient for playing time under Mikel Arteta.

But the Norwegian playmaker was handed his first Premier League start in Sunday's 4-2 win over Leeds – and duly delivered an impressive performance.

And it wasn't just his performance on the pitch that has impressed his Arsenal team-mates, with Cedric hailing the Madrid star's attitude at the training ground.

"He has been excellent," Cedric said. "He’s a very nice guy.

"He’s talking with everyone and speaks lots of Spanish, so he has been talking with everyone.

"I think all the team is welcoming him very well. He had a good game in the last game, when he started.

"I think he had a good game. We won the game so everything was positive. Right now, I just have positive things to say about him.

"He’s a calm person but I think he’s bringing a lot of quality to the squad and he has been excellent. I’m sure he will keep growing as a player. He has a big future ahead of him."

And Cedric, the former Southampton defender, isn't the only one impressed by Odegaard.

Manager Arteta, whose side face Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night, was also delighted to see the loan signing make his Arsenal debut.

The Spaniard said: "Big credit to him. His first Premier League start against Leeds, considering he’s not played much football in three months, he was great.

"To run the way he did, the way he was comfortable and creative on the ball and the personality he showed was great."

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