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Odegaard: ‘I’m very happy at Arsenal’

Martin Odegaard says he’s very happy to have joined Arsenal in the summer and that his teammates are a ‘hungry group of lads’. The 23-year-old made the switch from Real Madrid to the Gunners at the start of the season and has become a vital part of the team.

Speaking after a sensational performance in the clubs 5-1 win over Sunderland in the Carabao Cup, the youngster offered his thoughts on the display and a number of other key questions in an interview with Jan Aage Fjørtoft.

On turning 23 and being one of the older players at Arsenal…

In this company, I’m not that young anymore. It’s nice to get older and get some more experience.

On the development of Arsenal’s young side…

We have a very exciting group of players here. They do a fantastic job with young players giving us match time, and helping us all the way. They not only give us the chance but help us grow every year. I feel that they have helped me a lot in the short period I’ve been here.

On having experienced many clubs in recent years…

I’ve been through a lot despite my young age, and now I have joined a fantastic team with young and promising players. We are a team that is rising in a big club that belongs at the top. I feel that we are on a good path to achieve that. What we have done lately is very promising. We are a hungry group of lads that want to establish the team at the top again. It feels good to be here and I think what we are doing now is very good.

On how conscious Arteta is to create a young team…

I think both the team and the gaffer have a clear strategy when they have brought players in. If you look at the players that we have brought in now, there are many young players, like myself that want to move up and forward. But it is the best players that should play, so I don’t think that he thinks too much about [age] when he picks the team. But, yeah, the club has a strategy on young players and we saw that during the last transfer window.

On how happy he is about deciding to join Arsenal at this stage of his career…

Very happy! I feel that it was the right choice to look forward when things were like they were in Madrid. I signed when I was 16, and the time was now right to look forward and then I thought that this was the perfect club for me. With how the club wants to play and the same with the gaffer. It was just perfect and I’m very happy.

On what constitutes a good season for this Arsenal team…

We obviously want to win something. We are in the semi-final [of the Carabao Cup], and there is, another cup [FA Cup] coming up. So we obviously have a goal to win trophies and fight for spots in Europe. Of course, Champions League is the big dream, but we should at least play in Europe next year. That is a goal for us and I hope we make that happen.

On whether he’s now the happiest he’s been in his career…

Yes, I feel in very good shape and I feel that we have found out some things in this team and we know each other better and better. You can see that on the pitch. So yeah, I’m very happy here.