Arsenal have appointed 23-year-old Martin Odegaard as the new club captain ahead of the 2022/23 season set to kick off officially in less than a week.
Mikel Arteta appoints 23-year-old as Arsenal’s permanent captain over senior players
Mikel Arteta has selected his new captain for Arsenal ahead of the 2022/23 season and it is an interesting choice, to say the least.
The decision was announced by the club on their official Twitter page with a picture of Odegaard wearing the armband and a captain that read “Introducing our new captain...Martin Odegaard.
The Norwegian midfielder had captained the club in some preseason games during their tour of the United States of America and that role has now been made permanent by manager Mikel Arteta.
A surprising choice
Apart from being young, Odegaard’s selection as club captain raises eyebrows because he is still relatively new at the club.
He joined last summer for £30 million from Real Madrid having initially impressed on a six-month loan spell the season before.
That means Odegaard has been at the club for 18 months and only has one full season under his belt but is now the captain over more senior figures who have spent more time at the club.
And although his time at Arsenal has been impressive so far, having established himself as a key player for the Gunners, some might feel it is still too early to burden him with the captaincy.
The decision to appoint Martin Odegaard as Arsenal’s on-pitch leader ultimately falls on head coach Mikel Arteta.
Arteta probably decided to play it safe and avoid a repeat of Arsenal’s last two captaincy failures in Granit Xhaka and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang.
Despite being young, Odegaard is quite experienced and has been around for a while, having become a high-profile signing for Real Madrid at the tender age of 15.
Odegaard also has leadership qualities and has been the captain for his national team, Norway since March 2021.