Throughout the season, it has become apparent that Martin Odegaard offers so much more than just quality on the pitch.
Down to earth, hard-working, and a strong leader, the 23-year-old has everything you want in a footballer.
Leadership is a rare trait for any young player to have, but for Odegaard, it’s a natural quality which has already made him a crucial figure at Arsenal.
“He is the national team captain. He is one of the senior players here, for sure, even at his age, and it comes very natural to him,” Mikel Arteta has said.
In addition to the manager’s high praise, Aaron Ramsdale has revealed Odegaard holds tactical discussions with Arteta at London Colney.
Granit Xhaka told Norwegian outlet TV2 that “He is the future of this club” and “Can definitely become Arsenal captain.”
It has got to the stage where it appears to be a matter of when and not if Odegaard is handed the armband on a permanent basis, with Alexandre Lacazette set to leave at the end of the season and Kieran Tierney on the sidelines more often than not.
Yes, you could argue that those factors have played their part in him becoming the overall favourite, but his way of working and experienced demeanour go a long way too.
Despite only joining the club last summer on a permanent deal following a six-month loan spell, Odegaard has taken to his new surroundings like a duck to water, paving the way for future additions to follow suit.
This has set the perfect template for one of the Gunners‘ transfer targets in particular, and it could play its part in getting a deal over the line.
Arsenal are interested in PSV forward Cody Gakpo ahead of a potential move this summer, football.
The Dutch international has scored 19 goals and provided 15 assists in all competitions this season, putting several European clubs on high alert.
As well to his talent and versatility, which enables him to play out wide or centrally, it’s the leadership that he too possesses that has no doubt made him a standout option for Arteta and technical director Edu.
Already captain of the Eredivisie side at the age of 22, Gakpo has established himself as a well respected and highly-rated member of his team, similar to Odegaard.
A move to Arsenal would represent a big upgrade for the player and the chance to become captain of the club moving forward, thanks to Odegaard’s path.
The former Real Madrid man has proven that anything is possible if you showcase the right attitude, no matter how young or new you are.
Considering how this Arsenal team is developing and the visions that are in place for it, young leaders seem like the best fit at this moment in time.
If Edu’s pursuit of Gakpo becomes serious, the example set by Odegaard should absolutely be used in an attempt to convince him that it’s the best move for his development.
Reports suggest PSV will demand a fee in the region of £42m for the attacker.