Norway manager Stale Solbakken believes that Real Madrid star Martin Odegaard would be showcasing his supreme self-confidence if he joins an underperforming Arsenal this month, as he told VG.
While the Gunners have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent weeks, after making their worst start to a season since 1974/75, Mikel Arteta’s side are certainly not the finished article just yet.
Furthermore, with seven points separating them from an out-of-sorts Liverpool side, Arsenal still have a mountain to climb if they want to end their Champions League exile this term.
With that in mind, Odegaard is taking a risk as he prepares to leave 2020 La Liga winners Real Madrid for a team who are another blip away from sinking back into the bottom half of the table.
“First and foremost, if it happens, I think it shows that he has extremely great faith in himself,” said Solbakken, who became Norway boss in December.
“He joins a new league and a team that has admittedly risen considerably lately, got some good victories and climbed the table, but it is a traditional team that has underperformed for some time now.
“They are under construction. I think they have a good manager. I like Mikel Arteta and the way he tries to set it up here.
“But (Odegaard) will not be getting into something that is a self-driving machine in any way.”
Sky claims that Arsenal are in advanced talks to bring in the 22-year-old on loan, after he became the latest gifted young talent to fall, somewhat bizarelly, out of favour at an ageing and sluggish Real Madrid side.
In the eyes of many La Liga fanatics, Odegaard was the finest footballer in Spain outside of the top two last season, producing seven goals, nine assists and some truly exquisite displays during a spell at Real Sociedad.