Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville claims Martin Odegaard is the “one player” from Arsenal that manager Pep Guardiola would want to sign for Manchester City.
“Pep Guardiola, I think, if you said take one player out of this Arsenal team, I think he’d take him in an absolute heartbeat. He would absolutely break into that Man City team because he’s a beautiful player to watch. Every time I watch him he gets better and better.”
Odegaard’s record since the start of last season is extremely impressive, having racked up 17 goals and contributed 8 assists in 51 appearances for the Gunners.
There is no doubt that the attacking midfielder has moved up to another level, finding a level of consistency that he didn’t possess when he first arrived at the Emirates.
Would City sign Odegaard?
Neville is right to say that the 24-year-old is the type of player that Guardiola admires. He is technically gifted, and he glides across the turf, dictating play with his passing, as well as posing a genuine goal threat himself.
However, there is one reason why Odegaard is not the archetypal Guardiola player. The Norwegian international thrives playing in the no.10 role and his lack of positional flexibility means he wouldn’t necessarily fit into City’s system.
The player he most resembles is Bernardo Silva but, even then, the Portuguese international is just as comfortable playing out wide as he is through the middle. That is not something you could say about Odegaard.
Of course, it is a moot point as you can’t see a scenario where City would sign Arsenal’s captain. He is, in fact, close to signing a new long-term contract that would keep him in North London.