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Mikel Arteta: It is pointless to equate Odegaard with Messi

Mikel Arteta is thrilled by what Martin Odegaard can offer Arsenal but thinks that some comparisons to Lionel Messi are unhelpful.

Mikel Arteta says in contrast to Lionel Messi, Martin Odegaard has always fought a “lost battle” but has the characteristics expected to thrive at Arsenal.

Arteta is fascinated by the characteristics of Odegaard, but suggested restraint, saying it is useless to compare with Barcelona’s great Messi.

“I wouldn’t even get close to that name you just mentioned [Messi] because it’s a lost battle in my opinion. Martin is Martin,” Arteta said when previewing Saturday’s clash with Manchester United.

“In the last few seasons, he’s progressed and developed in the right way. I follow him very closely because he played for Real Sociedad which is my hometown and I know him really well.”

“He’s such a talent. He needs the right environment, a little bit of time, but he’s got the qualities to be a success for us. He’s a specialist to playing in the pockets, to be in the number eight, number 10 positions.”

“He can play on the sides, a really creative player, really comfortable on the ball in tight spaces, the capacity to create chances, to score goals.”

“Something he has improved a lot is his work rate without the ball as well. It’s another option to give us more creativity in the final third.”

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