Kevin Campbell has backed Arsenal loanee, Martin Odegaard, to make his first start for the Gunners in the Premier League clash with Leeds United this weekend.
The Norwegian is yet to start a game for Mikel Arteta’s men since his move from Real Madrid, who he joined from on a loan deal until the end of the season.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Highbury favourite has backed the Spanish coach to rest Emile Smith Rowe this Sunday.
Campbell said: “You would like to think that Odegaard will get a start. Emile Smith-Rowe has played a lot of football of late and Odegaard looked exciting against Aston Villa. Will Arteta tinker with the system a little bit to get them both in there? Or, will he give Odegaard some more minutes? The young lad deserves it. I think he will start or at the very least get a half against Leeds on Sunday.”
Should Odegaard start versus Leeds?
It’s a tricky situation for the manager especially given how well Smith Rowe has performed recently. The Englishman’s ball retention and ability to find space in the final third has been evident despite the Reds going on a run of no win in three Premier League games.
However, Odegaard came on to great effect against Aston Villa as he made a difference for the north London outfit. His exchange of passes with Bukayo Saka before launching a shot over the bar was a flash of his brilliance.
Whilst Campbell has suggested benching the Croydon-born youngster, there is also a scenario where both can fit into the same team this weekend. Thomas Partey is out with injury and with Dani Ceballos having just returned from a long lay-off, Odegaard could partner Granit Xhaka in central midfield.
What Arteta carries out against the Whites is a mystery, however, the Norway international definitely deserves his chance to shine having impressed versus the Villains last week.