Date: 27th January 2021 at 3:00pm
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Tony Cascarino has labelled Arsenal’s signing of Real Madrid man Martin Odegaard as a ‘smart move’ ahead of the Norwegian’s proposed transfer.

The £38k-p/w Norway international has completed his medical and is set to sign on for the remainder of the season after the Gunners moved quick to snatch the playmaker from the hands of Real Sociedad and Ajax.

Speaking in his weekly column in The Times, the former Chelsea man claimed the club needs a creative spark as he labelled the 22-year-old the missing piece to lift them up to the European places.

Cascarino said: “Martin Odegaard could prove to be a shrewd signing for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta needs more creativity and the 22-year-old can be the spark that lifts Arsenal to the European places. If he does that he’ll have been a success.”

He will also want to protect Emile Smith Rowe, who has thrived since his introduction but has ended up shouldering the creative burden. Odegaard will be keen to prove himself to Zinedine Zidane and it could be a smart move all-round.” (via The Times)

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It’s true to say Emile Smith Rowe has been unfairly burdened with carrying the team’s creative-wise. However, having been given the responsibility, the Croydon-born youngster has thrived, scoring once and assisting five times since his introduction in the win over Chelsea.

On the other hand, trusting a 20-year-old to carry the burden all on his own is incredibly naive, hence why the acquisition of Odegaard proves very smart business.

The Norwegian young gun thrived with Sociedad last campaign as he showed off his creative nous for the La Liga outfit. Switching between/playing both him and Smith Rowe would help take some of the responsibility off the Hale End academy product for what remains of the season.

Top-four still seems within reach for the north London giants and with the Europa League offering a secondary path into the Champions League, there are many games in which to switch between the two aces.

In other news, Fabio Capello has lauded one of Arsenal’s transfer targets.