Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard hails Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko for bringing ‘winning mentality’
Jesus and Zinchenko joined Arsenal this summer from Manchester City, arriving for a combined fee of around £75million. The pair both started Arsenal’s opening game of the Premier League season and helped them to secure a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Odegaard has been impressed by their impact on the pitch, also citing the new attitude they are bringing to the dressing room.
“Gabi and Alex, coming from Man City, are used to winning trophies and playing for the best teams in the world for a few years. They bring that experience and they know what it takes to win in this country,” said Odegaard.
“I think it’s important, it’s always an area to improve for everyone, you can always be better in that way.
“As I said they have that experience and hopefully they can share with us what it takes to win in this country. That’s where we want to be as a team, to fight for trophies, titles, be at the top. That’s where the club should be so that’s where we want to get to.
“I think that’s a good thing for us to get players with that experience as well. Of course, the quality they have as well is top, so they have been good.”
Arsenal are determined to return to the Champions League this year after narrowly missing out on the top four last season. The Gunners were in pole position, but fell at the final hurdle as they lost to Tottenham and Newcastle in their final three Premier League games.
“Yeah of course it’s a big thing for us,” said Odegaard. “It was last year as well, and towards the end we had it in our hands and then we lost it.
“That was a hard one for us, everyone was really disappointed and frustrated with how we ended the season. I think you will see a hungry and ready Arsenal team come back and do it this year. That’s where the club should be and that’s the goal.”
Odegaard will expect to play a leading role in Arsenal’s push for Champions League football and has the added responsibility now of being the team’s captain.
The midfielder already captains his country, Norway, and was given the armband at Arsenal this summer following Alexandre Lacazette’s departure.
“I don’t feel any special pressure with it. Obviously there’s a little bit more responsibility, but I think I will do a lot of the same things,” he said.
“I always try to do my best for the team. I’m not going to change too much just because it’s a permanent thing now.
“I will do the same things and obviously when he [Mikel Arteta] wants me to be the captain I’ve done something right so keep going in that direction, maybe learn and grow a bit with time.
“But I have to do it my way and that’s what I will try to do. I enjoy the responsibility and hopefully I can do it in a good way.”