Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard has been named Arsenal’s new captain ahead of the 2022-23 season, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.
Odegaard, 23, first arrived on loan from Real Madrid in January 2021 and after impressing manager Mikel Arteta, the club moved quickly to make that transfer permanent, signing him for around 35 million euros ($35.76 million) in August last year.
Odegaard’s first match as Arsenal’s fixed captain came against Sevilla in a pre-season friendly on Saturday where the north London side ran riot to beat the Spanish team 6-0 at home, with new recruit Gabriel Jesus grabbing a hat-trick.
“Of course I was happy, proud and grateful for the trust and for him wanting me to be the captain. That’s a big achievement for me and it’s nice to be part of such a good team, so I’m going to enjoy that,” Odegaard said.
Arsenal have been without a permanent captain since Arteta stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the armband last season, with the Gabon striker eventually moving to Barcelona earlier this year.
His strike partner Alexandre Lacazette took the armband in the second half of last season but the Frenchman lost his place in the starting lineup and has since returned to his former club Olympique Lyonnais.
Odegaard is no stranger to wearing an armband, however, as he has been the captain of the Norway national team since March last year.
“He represents the values of this football club, of his team mates, of the staff. He’s respected by everyone inside the club. I’m proud to announce him as captain,” Arteta said after the win.
Arsenal begin their Premier League campaign at Crystal Palace on Friday.