Mikel Arteta hails Martin Odegaard for taking Arsenal to ‘another level’ after starring role in West Ham thriller

ARSENAL boss Mikel Arteta has hailed Martin Odegaard after he played a starring role in their dramatic 3-3 draw against West Ham.

The 22-year-old was influential in dragging his side back into the game at the London Stadium as the Gunners came from three goals down to nick a point.

Odegaard found Calum Chambers twice down the right channel, with the right-back's crosses forcing two own goals through Tomas Soucek and Craig Dawson.

And he then slipped in Nicolas Pepe in the 82nd minute where the Ivorian found Alexandre Lacazette to head home the late equaliser.

The Norwegian playmaker finished the game with a pass completion rate of 93 per cent, which included 37 successful passes out of 41 in the final third.

He also created the most chances for his team in the clash against the Hammers, as well as having the most take-ons in the games.

Arteta was left singing his praises following the full-time whistle, as he told the Arsenal website: "I think he had an incredible performance.

"He was very intelligent the way he read the game, the way he effected the game and again he showed how much he wants to win.

"When everyone was a little bit trembling, he gave us that composure on the ball and he created chance after chance.

"I love talented and creative players that all the time are willing to take that ball and make things happen, that are mobile and also hard-working. He is one of them.

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"We have some others with different qualities but it's true that Martin is now giving us a different level on certain things that we didn't have."

Before adding: "When he steps on to that pitch, he always wants the ball. He commands the pressing and he's been really influential.

"I think we are all happily surprised because he looks shy and humble but when he steps on that pitch, he is a real character. He loves to play football."

Since joining on loan from Real Madrid in January, Odegaard has featured in 12 games in all competitions – chipping in with two goals.

And Arteta is keen to retain the services of the ex-Real Sociedad ace for next term, whether that is on another loan deal or signing him permanently.

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