Arteta must start Martin Ødegaard to exploit space against Leeds

Considering the fact he’s only come off the bench twice since his arrival on loan from Real Madrid, it would be no great surprise to see Martin Ødegaard finally get his chance from the start for Arsenal when they take on Leeds.

Despite passing up a fine chance to get his new side level, the Norwegian did well during a 25-minute appearance against Aston Villa, coming on for full-back Cédric and slotting in beside Emile Smith Rowe – which saw Bukayo Saka move to left-back.

With Smith Rowe selected for each of Arsenal’s past nine Premier League matches, Mikel Arteta may decide to rotate Ødegaard in for the 20-year-old Smith Rowe to have some fresh legs to chase Leeds all over the pitch. Ødegaard will certainly learn a lot about Premier League football in this one if he does play.

And, he probably should play, according to the best online casinos USA.

Ødegaard arrived to much fanfare, seen as a top signing in January’s window. He’s had some time to get up to speed now and if Arteta really sees him as part of Arsenal’s short-term future and a potential game-changer to kick start a late European charge, he needs to get him into the games.

The caveat to this is, ‘at what cost?’

Emile Smith Rowe has earned his place and should not lose it just because a player has come in from Real Madrid. And if Arteta then plans to select both in the strongest team, what happens to Sako? The newly-capped England international has been far and away Arsenal’s brightest spark this season and must be allowed to flourish in his best position.

So if Smith Rowe and Ødegaard take up two attacking midfield slots, Sako the third – where does that leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

Surely if Arteta saw him as the main striker he would have picked him there regularly by now?

And, the Arsenal skipper has scored most of his important goals coming off the left.

All the new casinos would tell you it seems like the most sensible thing to do to put your main goalscorer through the middle, so I’d expect Arteta to go down that path – even if it’s not against Leeds.

So how can Ødegaard have an impact if he does start?

Leeds could well be without Kalvin Phillips and most of Bielsa’s side’s implosions have come when they are without their English international defensive midfielder.

If Ødegaard can find the spaces that Leeds will surely leave given nobody has replaced Phillips successfully yet, then he can have a major creative part to play in the game.

And, if he does start to dictate we might finally see the much vaunted wonderkid start to show us what he really can do.