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HomeSportMartin Odegaard shows his class as Arsenal star caught pulling Gabriel Jesus...

Martin Odegaard shows his class as Arsenal star caught pulling Gabriel Jesus to one side


Martin Odegaard again showed his class and leadership skills as Arsenal brushed aside Bournemouth on Saturday. The Gunners captain was seen chatting to Gabriel Jesus before Kai Havertz scored his side’s second penalty in a heartwarming moment.

Odegaard isn’t perhaps a vocal captain like Tony Adams or an aggressive leader like Patrick Vieira. But the Norwegian does things his own way and has taken to the role like a duck to water.

Odegaard was handed the armband ahead of last season and almost spearheaded Arsenal’s first title win since 2004. His performances speak for themself, with 18 Premier League goals in 44 games from midfield since being handed the responsibility.

He showed his class following Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Brentford. He ensured youngster Charles Sagoe Jr was given appreciation by the visiting supporters following his debut, pushing him towards the away section after the win.

And Odegaard again showcased why he is such a positive influence on his squad at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. Arsenal were already leading 2-0 thanks to first-half goals from Bukayo Saka and a penalty from himself.

Arsenal were awarded a second spot-kick in the 53rd minute. It was a vital moment as another goal would surely have seen off any chance of a Bournemouth comeback.

Odegaard was spotted talking to Jesus just after the penalty was given. With just one league goal to his name this season, Jesus would understandably have been keen to step up and take it.

However, after a discussion for a few seconds, Odegaard seemingly convinced Jesus that it would be best to hand the penalty to Kai Havertz instead. Havertz has had a difficult time at Arsenal since his £65million move from Chelsea in the summer.

The German has often been the subject of ridicule from opposing fans, while he is yet to convince large sections of his new supporters. But Odegaard put faith in him to step up at a critical moment and deliver a killer blow to Bournemouth.

It is a decision that could have backfired. If Havertz had missed and Arsenal failed to win the game, the decision would have rested on his shoulders.

But Havertz showed why Odegaard should have faith in him by sending Neto the wrong way and calmly slotting it in the corner. Arsenal supporters were jubilant and it was the moment they and Havertz had been waiting for.

He needed that goal desperately to win over some of the naysayers. Odegaard must take a lot of the responsibility for allowing him to do so.

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