Football: Odegaard named new Arsenal captain; Gunners romp to 6-0 win over Sevilla

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus (left) celebrates with Martin Odegaard after scoring against Sevilla in a friendly. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard has been named Arsenal's new captain ahead of the 2022-23 season, the English Premier League club announced on Saturday (July 30).

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 (S$49.4 million) in August last year.

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 line-up and has since returned to his former club Lyon.

“Of course I was happy, proud and grateful for the trust and for him (Arteta) 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.

He is no stranger to wearing an armband, however, as he has been the captain of the Norway national team since March last year.

Odegaard's first match as Arsenal's fixed captain came against Spanish side Sevilla in a 6-0 friendly win later in the day. New signing Gabriel Jesus bagged a hat-trick, Bukayo Saka had a brace before Eddie Nketiah rounded up the scoring at the Emirates Stadium.

“He represents the values of this football club, of his teammates, 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.

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